The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious club tournament in the world. At this point, only four teams remain in the competition: Manchester City, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich. The defending champions, Barcelona are out and now the race is wide open between four sides that arguably have the same chance to win the competition. The semi-final draw takes place on Friday but whoever plays who it certainly has big games in line for us.
Pep Guardiola is in his final season at Bayern and he already announced that he will be coaching Manchester City in the upcoming season. He stands a high chance of facing his future employers in the competition and you would be fooled to think he would let them past him. He is determined to leave Germany on the highest possible note, the Champions League title which eluded him could be in his hands before the end of next month but his side has to be on its best form. In case Bayer did not draw City then either of the Madrid sides is likely to bring Guardiola back to his home country for a short visit. Facing Real Madrid would be a personal derby for the man and an extra reason for him to want to reach the final. Atletico on the other hand can be quite dangerous and cannot be underestimated. Bayern Munich have won the competition on five previous occasions and they will looking to add a sixth title to their cabinet.
Guardiola’s arch-rivals, Real Madrid overcame a 2-0 deficit and grabbed a win in el Clasico to close the gap to 4 points with Barcelona in La Liga. Things are finally clicking for Zinedine Zidane but that could mean little if he fails to win one of the Champions League and the Spanish Liga. Real Madrid are the most successful team in the competition with 10 titles but no matter who they draw in the next round it will be one worthy of remembering. Atletico are their city rivals, the team that is right above them in the Liga table and the same team they beat in the final of this competition two seasons ago. Manchester City, are in the semi-finals for the first time in their history and their manager, Manuel Pellegrini, in his final season at Manchester City, would be willing to defeat a team that sacked him a few seasons back. Whereas facing Bayern Munich means that they would have to welcome Barcelona legend pep Guardiola and their former player Xabi Alonso.
Atletico Madrid are hoping to finish what they started two seasons ago. They were the dark horse of the tournament back then and managed to reach the final. In fact, they were a few minutes away from winning the tournament had it not been for a late Sergio Ramos header. Now, they have the chance again to avenge that loss whether they play Real Madrid or any other side. Finally, Manchester City are out of the Premier League title race and the only way for Pellegrini to leave on a high is if he wins the Champions League or at least reaches the final. The stakes are high this year and it has been an exceptional one and all four clubs have a chance at the title. The next round is definitely going to be interesting and exciting whether the title remains in Spain, returns to Munich or visits the blue side of Manchester for the first time ever.