Munich - While the Bundesliga's fan-friendly culture and financial prudency have received praise from all corners of the globe of late, the league's clubs are now also producing the on-field achievements to match. For the first time ever, two Bundesliga representatives are in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

FC Bayern Munich's progression never looked in doubt over the course over their two-legged tie with Juventus, and while Borussia Dortmund cut it a lot finer than they’d have hoped in their 3-2 aggregate win over Malaga CF, both are nevertheless in the last four alongside Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF.

Mathematically on the rise


At this stage of the competition, teams from the same national association can be pitted together in the last four draw, due to take place on Friday at 12:00 CET. Should there be an all-Bundesliga semi-final, it would mean the mouthwatering prospect of three Bayern versus Dortmund clashes in the space of twelve days, including the duo's league meeting on Matchday 32.

One thing that is already certain, however, is Germany's rise in the UEFA coefficient ranking, which calculates a nation's status based on the previous four seasons, as well as the current campaign. Germany are presently third in the continental standings (16,500 points this season), behind only Spain (17,428) for the current campaign. Despending on how the rest of the tournament pans out, there could yet be further changes.

Hoeneß: “Dortmund are beatable”


For now though, both Bayern and Dortmund are concentrating on Friday's draw. For the record titleholders, who have reached the final of the Champions League twice in the last three campaigns, anything short of a place at Wembley on 25 May would be viewed as a disappointment.

“We’d prefer not to face Barcelona,” admitted Peruvian international Claudio Pizarro. “Maybe a tie with Dortmund would be good, because then it’s guaranteed that there’d be a German team in the final. That would be great for the country.”

Club president Uli Hoeneß expressed a similar view after Bayern’s 2-0 win over Juventus on Wendesday. “I think they [Dortmund] are beatable, more beatable than either of the Spanish sides. We’re determined to reach the final and Dortmund would be the opponent against whom we’d have the best chances of achieving that.”

Sahin: “We can win the whole thing”


Dortmund naturally have a rather different stance. “In the past few years we’ve shown that we’re completely capable of winning the odd game or two against die Münchner,” explained chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke. “For me the attraction of the Champions League is in international matches. So I’d be more pleased with two German-Spanish encounters than a semi-final against Bayern.” Head coach Jürgen Klopp had no preference however, stating: “the coolest thing is that we’re in the draw on Friday”.

Meanwhile, two of BVB's key players were quietly confident of their side's chance of progression. “In comparison to the other sides left in the competition we’re definitely the underdogs, but that allows us to play without any pressure on us,” said Robert Lewandowski, who has six goals in the competition this season.

Midfielder Nuri Sahin ventured even further: “I firmly believe that we can win the whole thing. Looking at the names in the semi-finals we’re probably seen as the weakest team, but none of them should want to have us as opponents.”

James Thorogood