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Bayern: Barca Still the UCL Favorite
Reuters, April 12th, 2013 1:42PM

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TAGS:  barcelona, germany, real madrid, spain, uefa champions league

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Bayern Munich, the already-crowned champion of Germany this season, was paired with Spanish champion-elect Barcelona, while Borussia Dortmund, last season’s German champion, was paired with defending Spanish champion Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinal draw on Friday. The German teams will be at home for the first-legs on April 23rd and 24th, while Spanish teams will host the return-legs the following week.

While much has been made of the stylish way Bayern Munich has gone about its business both in Germany and in Europe this season, club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was clear about which team he thought should be the favorite.  "Barcelona is the benchmark for me in Europe," he said. "They are the best team in Europe at the moment, with fantastic attacking potential.” The last time the two teams met, in the 2009 quarterfinals, Barca won the series 5-1 after winning the first-leg 4-0 at the Camp Nou. “I remember that game well and I don't really like to think about it, because it was quite painful to watch,” Rummenigge said. “However, it's a wonderful opportunity to show that we have improved a lot since then. "

Meanwhile, in the other series, Real and Dortmund have already met twice this season during the group phase. Dortmund won 2-1 at Signal Iduna Park, while the second meeting was a 2-2 draw at the Bernabeu. “I don’t need to stress the fact that Real Madrid will be a tough opponent,” Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp told reporters. “But they are the only team that was left in the draw whom we’ve managed to beat this season already.”

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