Bayern Munich, Real Madrid Renew Rivalry on Champions League Stage

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The 72-year-old, who is bidding to become the oldest coach to win the European Cup, will be handing over the reins to Niko Kovac at the end of the season, but he plans on leaving Bayern with the ideal parting gift of all - another treble.

With AP Photos.Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are back at it in the Champions League semifinals. "We have to focus on Wednesday's match to turn this around". Retaining the trophy [in 2017] was special because no team had ever managed to win it twice in a row, and it will be hard for any team to repeat that. If, unlike in the previous two encounters, Bayern can keep all 11 men on the field, they should triumph. No one can say that ever again if Liverpool wins the Champions League.

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has said Real Madrid should be as wary of Robert Lewandowski as his side are of Cristiano Ronaldo.

"The duel against Real has a great tradition", said Heynckes who has coached both clubs to the Champions League title, Real in 1998 and Bayern in 2013.

He has played in 65% of the minutes since Heynckes returned to the bench and he feels important again.

Real Madrid have won the Champions League a record 12 times and are attempting to emulate the great Ajax and Bayern Munich sides of the 1970s by winning it for a third year in a row but will face the hurdles of a free-scoring Bayern Munich squad made up of the indefatigable Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery all inspiring the youngsters so far this season to a Bundesliga title with the German Cup in view when they face Eintracht Frankfurt in the final.

Their most recent meeting went Madrid's way, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the 2017/2018 campaign, Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in 10 games.

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Bayern had players sent off in both matches - Javi Martinez in the first leg and Arturo Vidal in the second.

German legend Stefan Effenberg admits he'd have loved to have played for Real Madrid. "He's even learning German".

Karim Benzema scored the victor in the 1-0 victory in Madrid.

Bayern Munich, which just won its sixth consecutive Bundesliga title, has scored five or more goals in four of its past six games at home.

Sergio Ramos and Ronaldo each scored twice for Madrid in the return match.

This time round, Bayern have a tactical trump card in former Real manager Jupp Heynckes, who came out of an nearly four-year retirement last October after Carlo Ancelotti was sacked.

The two sides, both giants of the European game, meet each other in the first leg of their eagerly-anticipated last four tie at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night (kick-off 7.45pm, live on RTÉ2).

In the 2014 semi-final (5-0 to Madrid on aggregate), Carlo Ancelotti's team brutally exposed the flaws of a near-perfect footballing machine that Pep Guardiola had built in Munich, to plant a seed of doubt that kept on growing.