Nyon - Just three games separate reigning European champions FC Bayern München from becoming the first-ever side to defend the UEFA Champions League title after they were pitted against Real Madrid CF in the semi-finals of Europe's most prestigious club competition.

The first leg will take place on Wednesday April 23rd in Madrid, before the return leg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday April 29th.

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"It's a match that all the Bayern and Real Madrid fans can look forward to," claimed FC Bayern München CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "Pep will be excited as well, I am sure. Real Madrid are one of the best clubs in the world and it will be two very difficult, but interesting games. Real are not a side that will play defensively. We have a lot of respect for them, but we have a great opportunity to make history, to defend the title and we believe we can do it."

"It will be a fantastic semi-final," stated sporting director Matthias Sammer. "Two great teams with a lot of tradition are going to face each other, the games will be fun to watch. You couldn’t ask for more in European football, Bayern versus Real. We want to come out on top and reach the final."

"Two amazing teams worthy of a final," said FC Bayern München captain Philipp Lahm. "Both sides have good chances, but if you're in the semi-finals of the Champions League you only have one goal, to reach the final. We want it."

"A difficult draw," admitted wing wizard Franck Ribery. "Two of the most attacking teams in the world will face each other, the two games will be amazing. I really hope we reach the final."

"I am looking forward to playing in the Bernabeu again as I have very fond memories from there," explained FC Bayern München goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. "When we progressed to the final after penalties two years ago, it was crazy. I am eager to see the excitement in the stadium as well as the city, especially as both Real Madrid and Atletico will be playing at home first. It will be a big spectacle in Madrid with the fans from both clubs."

"Real is the strongest team that we could have faced," admitted FC Bayern München midfielder Javi Martinez. "It will be difficult, but I trust our team. I lost to Real quite often when playing for Bilbao, but I hope to change that with Bayern."

"It is good for us to play against a difficult opponent. We will do everything we can to win," said Real Madrid CF head coach Carlo Ancelotti. "Pep Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world and the knock-out tie with Bayern will be very difficult for both teams. We are motivated and are still in all three competitions so we are looking forward to it."

Former FC Bayern München head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has chimed in with his thoughts on Sky Germany. "Real Madrid CF aren't as strong as they have been in recent years and FC Bayern München have always performed well against Real so in many ways it's a good omen," said Hitzfeld. "The most important thing will be grabbing a goal or two in the first leg in Madrid. Both teams boast talented frontlines, but Real are susceptible at the back. It's a huge advantage for Bayern to play in Madrid first."

FC Bayern München legend Paul Breitner (pictured) was on hand in Nyon, Switzerland to provide his reaction to the UEFA Champions League semi-final draw. "Chelsea FC and Club Atletico de Madrid's priority would have been to defend so from that perspective Real Madrid CF were a more favourable draw. Now at least we have the chance to enjoy an open game," explained Breitner. "We are confident that we can become the first team to defend the Champions League title."

The first leg of FC Bayern München's UEFA Champions League semi-final tie with Real Madrid CF will take place in Madrid on April 23rd, while the return leg at home in the Allianz Arena will take place on April 29th. A huge advantage for the German record titleholders to be playing away from home in the first leg. The question is can they take advantage of it?

The storylines have written themselves! UEFA European Footballer of the Year Franck Ribery against Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Pep Guardiola taking on his former arch-rivals and the two best teams in Europe going head to head. The last time FC Bayern München met Real Madrid CF was at the semi-final stage of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League in which they needed penalties to reach the final after both teams won their home ties 2-1.

SEMI-FINAL DRAW:


Real Madrid CF vs. FC Bayern München

Club Atletico de Madrid vs. Chelsea FC

The video preludes are over, former Portuguese international Luis Figo is out on stage and we're ready to get to the UEFA Champions League semi-final draw...

With painful memories of the Finale dahoam still lingering and Pep Guardiola set to either return to the Spanish capital or enjoy a reunion with arch-enemy Jose Mourinho, FC Bayern München can take heart that they boast a positive record against Real Madrid CF (W11 D2 L7), Club Atletico de Madrid (W1 D1 L0) and Chelsea FC (W1 D1 L1). As Dutch winger Arjen Robben put it: “We’ve only got one more opponent before Lisbon.”

Former FC Bayern München boss Jupp Heynckes, who guided FCB to the European title last season, is hoping the Bavarians draw Real Madrid CF. "Real would be a great draw," explained Heynckes. "Away from home they're not as strong and all you have to do is score once at the Bernabeu and you're through. Atletico are a very disciplined team, but Bayern's advantage is that all three potential opponents are competiting for the league titles, which means they can't let up."

“It doesn’t matter who we play. Our aim is to be in the final in Lisbon. We have the chance and we’d like to take it,” said FC Bayern München's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "The maths is quite straight-forward. There's a 66 per cent chance that we'll be going to Madrid and 33 per cent chance we'll go back to London. We'll take it as it comes. Bayern München are definitely not an ideal draw for the other teams."

Having rode their luck to knock out Borussia Dortmund at the quarter-final stage of the competition, Real Madrid CF stand as one of the teams that FC Bayern München could face in the semi-finals. However, BVB have already proven that the European record title-holders are beatable after snatching a heart-breaking 2-0 win that wasn't enough to overturn their three-goal first-leg deficit.

A comprehensive win over English champions Manchester United FC got tongues wagging for all the right reasons from FC Bayern München's perspective. However, the media were quick to point out that while it took the record title-holders "just 17 minutes to demolish the English side" - in the words of the Gazzetta dello Sport - the Bavarians' were far from their best. For a round-up of the international reaction follow this link...

Just three games now stand between FC Bayern München and them becoming the first-ever side to defend the UEFA Champions League crown after they overcame reigning Barclays Premier League title-holders Manchester United FC by a 4-2 aggregate scoreline. Click here to read bundesliga.com's exclusive match report from the second leg in Munich.

...to bundesliga.com's LIVE coverage of the UEFA Champions League semi-final draw. It's a big day for reigning champions FC Bayern München, who will find out whether they'll be travelling to Madrid or London. Stay with us for all the build-up and reaction as and when it happens!