When Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League 2012-13, a significant development had occurred.
That is, for the first time in the Champions League history two countries have two representatives each in the semi-finals.
And, what is even more interesting is that, finally the fight over continental supremacy between Germany and Spain, has got a new stage - the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
The draw is a decent one, as it managed to avoid a Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid tie, as the memories of Bayern sweeping aside Madrid in last season's semi-final is still fresh in our minds.
But Bayern have again run in to Spanish opposition in the semi-final, the way it happened last term too. The last time the two teams met was in the 2008-09 season, when Barcelona was a team under Pep Guardiola. Munich were in transition and unable to cope with Barcelona’s flying attack.
Bayern were left to learn a hard lesson after their 4-0 thrashing in Camp Nou, but managed to draw the game 1-1 at the Allianz Arena.
The five matches from now on will be a great celebration for football and indeed a fantastic advertisement for the beautiful game, as the Bayern vs Barcelona tie will pit a fast passing and fluid Bayern with the slow build-up passing and possession based Barcelona.
It will be a game of contrasting strikers, with Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Pedro against one of the Mario's in the Die Roten line up. Jupp Heynckes won the Champions League with Real Madrid 15 years back, and came so close to getting it again last season, but luck favoured the bus parking Blues last season.
So the current Bayern manager would try his best to go for the kill yet again and sign off his career in style before the man from Barcelona takes his job.
Moving on to the other tie, there is the neutral's favourite Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund, who stormed back in to the tournament last season after a long hiatus, were undone by some bad performances and ill-luck owing to pressure and in-experience last season.
They are the team that has provided the greatest entertainment with their all-out attack, passing style - the way the Nationalmannschaft have been playing for a few years now.
Dortmund's coach Jurgen Klopp was not a great player during his playing days, but his managerial ability is no doubt great, as the team is without any star power and perform well collectively as a team and are proud to having been associated with the BVB. Being a lively character he gets behind the team and provides the motivation they need, when taking on bigger and tougher opposition.
So, a team that relies on collective effort and all-out attacking play will come against a team that will be assembled by master tactician Jose Mourinho. It remains to be seen whether Dortmund can imitate what Bayern did to the Los Blancos last season at the same stage.
This season's semi-final ties will be remembered for a long time, as they could provide exceptional match-day entertainment and incredible memories The stadiums associated with all these teams are indeed terrific and the atmosphere inside will be truly sensational. Be it the Allianz Arena or the Santiago Bernabeu or the Nou Camp or the Signal Iduna Park, every match venue is incredible.
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