With the quarter-finals of the Champions League done with, we now have our four semi-finalists for the tournament. The results of the round were more or less as predicted with all of Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid making it through to the semi-finals.
While Dortmund, Barcelona and even Real Madrid to an extent, were made to work hard for their place in the final four, Bayern Munich made it through quite comfortably, winning 4-0 on aggregate against the reigning Italian champions, Juventus.
With the draw for the semi-finals, we now have two enthralling ties to look forward to. One of them is the encounter between the mighty Real Madrid and the inspired Borussia Dortmund. So, how will this tie shape up? Let us have a look.
Jose Mourinho's men were stretched by the sheer brilliance of both Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder at the Turk Telecom Arena in their second leg against Turkish giants, Galatasaray. Although they never fell behind on aggregate, they were totally on the ropes once they conceded two goals in as many minutes in their away leg. But, they did make it through on a quite convincing aggregate scoreline, 5-3.
Dortmund on the other hand, came out of jail. They were 2-1 down and needed to score two goals to go through to the next round with only added time remaining.
Guess what? They managed it.
Malaga's Champions League dream was shattered in the process but Manuel Pellegrini can be very proud of his team with the kind of showing they managed at the Signal Iduna Park.
Both teams were hence stretched and will thus be wary of their opponent hitting back strongly. This provides a recipe for another memorable Champions League night.
Dortmund will hold a psychological advantage, if there is any, considering their stellar performance in both their games in the group stage against the Los Blancos. Madrid were depleted then, but they still did have enough quality in their side for their loss to be considered substantial.
Borussia Dortmund couldn't do much in their quest for a third consecutive Bundesliga title, this season, but they will more than make up for it if they could overcome the Spanish giants and book a place in the finals of the Champions League.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have made their fans waiting long for 'La Decima' and Mourinho will give it all against Dortmund in lieu of achieving that elusive 10th title for them.
Borussia will be worthy opponents to their title charge though, and Jurgen Klopp might just pull out another rabbit from the hat and shatter Mourinho's dreams of signing off a great tenure with another triumph to remember.
Mario Gotze | Borussia Dortmund
Manchester City got rid off a certain Mario Balotelli this January, only to come wanting for another one. Not only City, everyone wants Mario Gotze it seems. Teams like Barcelona and Chelsea are rumoured to be after him and every game he features in, goes on to prove his worth.
Tipped as the future of football, let alone German football, Gotze is already among the very best in the world and will only get better with age. Considering how good he currently is, he will go on to contend for a Ballon D'Or soon. That's how good he is. Real Madrid will be extremely wary of his combination with fellow German, Marco Reus and Polish ace Robert Lewandowski.
It's unclear if Mourinho will play Iker Casillas, but given his faith in Diego Lopez, Casillas' time on the bench looks to continue. Hence, Diego Lopez's work will be cut out against Dortmund and expect shots raining at him from the trio mentioned above. Gotze though, is the creative spark in this extremely talented Dortmund squad and Klopp will rely on him to breach Madrid's defence.
Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo has been unstoppable in the Champions League. He is currently the top scorer in the competition and will seemingly stay there until the end of the tournament. Scoring for fun, Ronaldo will be the most talked about player in the Dortmund ranks, come their tie against Real Madrid.
He has scored in every game in the Champions League and is revelling under Mourinho's system cutting in from the left. Ably supported by stars like Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric, Ronaldo has been prolific at both scoring and creating goals for the likes of Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain.
The real hitman for Real, one of the first tasks that Jurgen Klopp will set for his defenders is cutting out Ronaldo but given his recent form, one has to doubt even the possibility of such a feat.
Will Real Madrid make it to Wembley and contend for an unprecedented 10th Champions League title? Or will Borussia Dortmund repeat their outstanding run of 1997 and try to emulate Munich? Will the likes of Mario Gotze live up to their billing or will Ronaldo set up another date with destiny? Only time will tell.
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