Two titans of European club soccer will square off in the Champions League semifinals later this month, with Bayern Munich facing Real Madrid after the random draw Friday in Nyon, Switzerland. Roma will face Liverpool in the other two-leg semifinal.
Defending champion Real Madrid is looking to increase its record Champions League haul to 13 titles. Bayern Munich, meanwhile, is looking to win the tournament for the sixth time, with its last European title in 2013; it has reached the semifinals in eight consecutive years. It will be the seventh time the two powers — No. 1 (Real Madrid) and No. 2 (Bayern Munich) in UEFA’s club rankings — have met in the semifinals of the European club championship. Real Madrid has beaten Bayern Munich in five straight matches.
Roma, in this position thanks to its stunning aggregate upset of Barcelona, has never won the event, last appearing in the semifinals in 1984.
Liverpool, which has five European titles but hasn’t reached the semifinals since 2008, is brimming with confidence after its 5-1 aggregate thumping of Premier League foe Manchester City in the quarterfinals.
“Throughout the whole tournament there hasn’t been a team who strike fear in us,” 19-year-old Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold said before the draw, per the Guardian. “We’ve looked at it from the start that we’re in it to win it. As it goes on, you get closer and closer to getting that chance to win it. We’ve taken another step closer to the final and there are still two more games ahead of us. Whoever we draw on Friday, we’ll look forward to the game and hopefully get to the final.”
The Reds feature Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, who spent the previous two seasons with Roma, scoring 29 goals. He has a European-best 39 goals this season, the most by a Liverpool player in the Premier League era.
The two-leg semifinals will take place April 24/25 and May 1/2. The winners, based on aggregate goals, will meet in Kiev for the final on May 26.
Thanks in part to Barcelona’s stunning collapse against Roma, it will be the first time since 2009-10 that all four Champions League semifinal teams come from different countries. Barcelona and Real Madrid have been near-constant presences in European club soccer’s final four, but only the latter was able to advance this year.
In the semifinal draw for the second-tier Europa Cup, Arsenal drew Atletico Madrid and Marseille will play Salzburg. The Europa Cup winner receives an automatic bid into the group stage of next season’s Champions League.
More soccer coverage: