Hamburg - Ottmar Hitzfeld knows what it feels like to win the UEFA Champions League. In fact, he was lucky enough to achieve the feat twice, with Borussia Dortmund in 1997 and FC Bayern Munich in 2001.

12 years on from last of his two successes and both clubs are now on the brink of reaching the Wembley final in London on 25 May. BVB face Real Madrid in their semi-final second leg on Tuesday having triumphed 4-1 in the first game, while Bayern are at FC Barcelona on Wednesday with a even more handsome 4-0 advantage.

A first ever all-German Champions League final within touching distance, Hitzfeld is excited as anyone as he explained to in an exclusive interview... Ottmar Hitzfeld, have we witnessed a shift in power in European football over the past week?

Ottmar Hitzfeld: First and foremost I have to say that those were two outstanding performances from Bayern and Dortmund. The way in which they both won their games was really impressive. If you consider that the Bundesliga leaders beat the La Liga leaders 4-0, and the Bundesliga’s second-placed side that of La Liga 4-1, then the goalposts really have been moved. There is a changing of the guard taking place, but Dortmund and Bayern need to confirm that in the second legs. Do you think Dortmund have the tougher return leg compared to Bayern?

Hitzfeld: That single, solitary goal they conceded gives the tie a very different outlook, and I know how difficult it is to avoid defeat in the Bernabeu. An early goal for Real in the first half will raise the crowd and give the players the belief that they can pull off a miracle. I still remain convinced that Dortmund will reach the final, where they will meet FC Bayern, but it won’t be easy. German teams don’t have a great record in the Camp Nou either. Bayern (2008/09) and VfB Stuttgart (2009/10) each lost 4-0 in Barcelona, while Bayer 04 Leverkusen were on the end of a 7-1 hammering last season...

Hitzfeld: Yes, but with a 4-0 lead, that won’t happen to Bayern this time. I can’t conceive of Barcelona scoring four against them. Jupp Heynckes’ team play a completely different style these days, one with which they dominate teams. This side is nothing like the one that lost to Barca under Jürgen Klinsmann. Lahm,Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez,Dante,Luiz Gustavo and Mario Gomez are all one yellow card away from missing the final. How will the coach cope with that dilemma?

Hitzfeld: Heynckes certainly won’t worry about that. I don’t think all of those players will play, but he can’t rest them all, as that would be too much of a risk and would send out the wrong message to the rest of the team. Heynckes has rotated his team heavily in the Bundesliga recently. Is that a good practice?

Hitzfeld: It’s important to spread the load of games through the team, especially before a second leg like this. Rotation isn’t much of a problem for Bayern, as they have a squad with quality throughout. Dortmund have done the same thing, but they don’t quite have the same strength in depth. This young Dortmund team is still lacking in international experience. Could that be a problem for them at the Bernabeu?

Hitzfeld: I have no doubt that Jürgen Klopp will prepare his players in the best way possible. In the group game earlier this season, Dortmund came very close to winning in Madrid. This is a game between two evenly-matched sides, but Real will have a lot of respect for Dortmund. I’m extremely optimistic. After these two games, Bayern and Dortmund face each other in the Bundesliga. If they do both reach the final, what can we expect in terms of line-ups for the Matchday 32 fixture?

Hitzfeld: I think there will be a little more riding on the game for Dortmund. In front of their own fans, they will have a bit more pressure on them. At the end of the day it’s about prestige, so I think we’ll still see two very strong teams line up against one another next Saturday. Which team will you be crossing your fingers if they both reach the final?

Hitzfeld: I’ll watch it as a neutral. I spent two parts of my life at these clubs and had some wonderful experiences, so I have a deep affection for each of them. Would this be a failed season for FC Bayern if Dortmund were to lift the Champions League?

Hitzfeld: I would look at the season with the mindset of a coach and, in that sense, Bayern have achieved a spectacular feat with all the records they have broken in the Bundesliga. However, by winning the Champions League, you can write your own footballing history, and it’s also a title that players like Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger are yet to win. Bayern were losing finalists in 2010 and 2012. Have they earned the right to call themselves 'Kings of Europe' this season?

Hitzfeld: Bayern would certainly be the favourites if they do reach the final, but the team that deserves to be Champions of Europe is the one that holds its nerve and produces a top performance in the final - when it matters. And finally, could we have your predictions for the second leg games?

Hitzfeld: I believe that neither Dortmund nor Bayern will lose in Spain.

Interview by Michael Reis