Madrid rivals to meet in Champions League semis

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 21, 2017

NYON, Switzerland Eleven-times champions Real Madrid will take on neighbours Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final after the draw pitted last year's finalists against each other.

Real Madrid are also the team that have been present in the semi-finals the most times throughout the competition.

While the majority of their players are under 25, Ajax are not to be taken lightly-their semi-final clash with Lyon could be a thrilling encounter.

Real host the first leg at the Bernabeu on April 2, with the return at the Vicente Calderon, where Atletico have not conceded in their last nine Champions League knockout games, the following Wednesday.

Real Madrid have been Atletico Madrid's kryptonite in the UCL, as another Madrid derby is set for the semifinals.

"The only distinction from the three teams is that Atletico Madrid have a more marked and defined position in the (league) standings", said the stopper, who is yet to win the Champions League, calling Diego Simeone's team "the trickiest" of the sides left.

Atleti have finished runners-up in the competition on three occasions, whereas Real's victory a year ago was their 11th in the competition.

Atletico is seeking its first title.

Two-time champion Juventus is trying to return to the final since losing the final to Barcelona in 2015. That year, it eliminated Monaco in the quarterfinals with a 1-0 aggregate score.

The Italian champion is looking for its first European title since 1996.

"The competition is so prestigious and important that it obliges the players to be at their best to reach the final", he added.

The Champions League final is on June 3.

"When we played against Bayern it seemed that having the second leg at home was an inconvenience but we got through".

The side drawn first in each tie will play the first leg at home.

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