Champions League draw: Barcelona vs Bayern; Real Madrid vs Dortmund
Spanish and German teams were kept apart for the semi-finals of the Champions League, as European football's governing body UEFA made the draw for this year's last four games. Last year's beaten finalists Bayern Munich, who have already secured the Bundesliga title, take on Spanish league leaders Barcelona. In the other match, Borussia Dortmund will play Real Madrid.
The possibility of a 'Classico' between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League will have to wait until the final as a result of the semi-final draw announced in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday.
The draw saw Barcelona going against Bayern Munich, while Real Madrid will take on Borussia Dortmund for a place in the final, which will be played at Wembley.
That opens up a full range of possibilities for the Champions League final which could see two Germany sides go head to head, or a Germany-Spain final, or Barca-Real Madrid should both sides qualify, Xinhua reports.
Barcelona will probably be the least happy with the draw given that they have to face the German league Champions, who are also last year's beaten finalists and showed their excellent form with a 4-0 aggregate win over Italian league leaders, Juventus in the quarter-finalists.
"I think it is a great tie between two great sides with different styles we will try to do what we do best, which is play good football to try and get to Wembley, which is a magical place for us," said FC Barcelona's Director of Football, Andoni Zubizarreta after the draw.
The two Spanish sides have the slight advantage of playing the first leg away from home, meaning that they will have the return leg in front of their fans and Real Madrid's Director of Institutional Relations, Emilio Butragueno was optimistic about his club' s prospects.
Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund met in the group stage with the German side defeating Madrid at home and drawing in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, although former Madrid and Spain striker, Butragueno believes that will change this time around.
"We have played twice this season and we have not been able to beat them, but we are confident that this time we will be able to beat them and get to the Wembley final that we all dream about," he said.
Prior to the draw opinions between the fans of two Spanish sides were divided over who they would rather have faced in the semi-finalists.
While Real Madrid fans, perhaps buoyed by their recent victories over Barca in the Copa del Rey and in the BBVA Primera Liga, said they would like the chance to knock their rivals out of the semifinals and deprive them of a place in the final, Barca supporters said they preferred to face Borussia Dortmund.
Barca were boosted Thursday when Lionel Messi, whose cameo as a substitute was vital in seeing his side through on away goals against Paris Saint Germain, said he would be fit to play in the semi-finals.
Messi had played despite a muscle problem and set up Pedro Rodriguez for Barca's equalizing goal. He looked as if he was struggling in the closing minutes of the game.
"It was worth the risk," Messi told Barcelona based newspaper: el Mundo Deportivo Friday.
Here are the fixtures for the Champions League semi-finals after the draw was made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on Friday:
Semi-finals first leg
Tuesday, April 23
1845 GMT Bayern Munich (GER) v Barcelona (ESP)
Wednesday, April 24
1845 GMT Borussia Dortmund (GER) v Real Madrid (ESP)
Semi-finals second leg
Tuesday, April 30
1845 GMT Real Madrid (ESP) v Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Wednesday, May 1
1845 GMT Barcelona (ESP) v Bayern Munich (GER)
The Champions League final will be played at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday, May 25.