Real Madrid have a very poor record against Bayern Munich in UEFA competitions.
The two sides have met each other 20 in the European Cup/Champions League. That includes five semi-finals: 1976, 1987, 2000, 2001 and 2012. Only once have the Spanish giants emerged victorious – 2000.
The latest bouts between two of Europe’s biggest clubs came in the 2011-12 campaign. Then managed by Jose Mourinho, Los Blancos took the German giants all the way to a penalty shootout, which they lost 3-1.
There was nothing to choose between those two sides at the time and it will be just as tight this time around.
Madrid are in the semi-finals of Europe’s premier club competition for the fourth season in a row and coach Carlo Ancelotti has been entrusted with the task of leading them to their 10th European Cup.
The Italian tactician has won the competition both as a player and as a coach twice each and is defiant that his players will be able to get the better of Pep Guardiola’s Bayern over two legs.
"If we want to win the UEFA Champions League, we have to beat everyone including Bayern,” said the 54-year-old. “The semi-finals against Bayern will be very difficult but it's not easy for anyone to play Real Madrid.”
Ancelotti is putting up a brace face against a team who have just the European Cup to concentrate on. Bayern have already bulldozed their way to the Bundesliga title and are aiming to become the first team to clinch back-to-back titles in the Champions League era.
Emilio Butragueno, a Madrid legend and now a club ambassador, is probably wary of all that and is less forthcoming in backing Ancelotti’s players.
"A lot of confidence in the players but it will be extremely tough against Bayern,” said the former Spain international striker. “Of course I hope Real Madrid reach the final and win."
And hope they will. Madrid have not reached the final since 2002 when they sensationally defeated Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park in Glasgow, and the quest to win La Decima carries on.