Barcelona, chasing their third title in five years, will face treble-chasing Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals while Borussia Dortmund were drawn against Real Madrid for the second time in this year’s competition.
The draw ensured bitter local rivalries would not be renewed for the time being, although it opened up the possibilities of an all-German final or a Real-Barca clash at Wembley. A Bayern-Real meeting would also have been potentially explosive as there is a long history of stormy encounters between them.
The German pair, whose duel for domestic supremacy has sparked some acrimonious comments off the pitch, were glad to have avoided each other. “We are happy with this draw, not because we think it’s an easy one, but because the Champions League is an international competition and we wanted an international game rather than a national tie against Bayern,” said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Bayern winger Arjen Robben said before the draw: “We’d like to be kept apart from Dortmund, but you don’t have a choice in these things.”
The German sides will be at home in the first legs in two weeks’ time with the return games one week later.
Bayern and Barcelona have met just six times in European competition with only one win for the Catalans.
In the Europa League, Chelsea face Basel in the semi-finals as they bid to win their second successive European title. Fenerbahce play Benfica in the other semi-final.
Champions League: Bayern Munich v Barcelona; Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid (first legs 23-24 April; second legs on 30 April-1 May)
Europa League: Fenerbahce v Benfica; Basel v Chelsea (first legs 25 April, second legs on 2 May)