Bayern Munich drew Real Madrid and Chelsea will face Atletico Madrid in the last four of the UEFA Champions League, with the first games of the two-game series on April 22-23 and the second games on April 29-30.
The first semifinal features former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola renew his rivalry with Real Madrid, which he beat at this stage en route to winning the UCL title with Barca in 2011. Bayern, the defending European champ, first travels to Madrid before closing out the series at home. Both Guardiola and Real coach Carlo Ancelotti have won the UCL twice before, and should either win it again this year, they would become only the second coach to win Europe’s top club prize three times; Liverpool’s Bob Paisley is the only coach to have achieved that feat so far.
Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho is also gunning for that distinction, having won the competition twice before as coach of Porto in 2004 and then Inter Milan in 2010. The Blues, which won the competition in 2012, open up the series at Atletico, which is currently first-place in Spain La Liga, before closing out the series at Stamford Bridge. Atletico is making its first appearance in the European Cup semis since 1974.
It had been previously thought that Atleti goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan from Chelsea, would be unavailable for this game, owing to a clause in his loan contract that would require Atleti to pay a huge but undisclosed sum to allow the Belgium international to play against his parent club, but UEFA on Friday said the clause was “unenforceable.”