Four teams. Two Spanish, two German.
There are 18 UEFA Champions League trophies between them, the last time that not one of these teams did not raise a major trophy was 2004.
So, now that Bayern are through, who should die Roten play? We took a quick poll between our writing staff, and here is what we came up with:
Ryan Cowper – Borussia Dortmund
Dortmund definitely struggled against Malaga, and in all respects should probably no longer be in the Champions League. It took a monumental defensive collapse from Malaga in the dying minutes on Tuesday for Dortmund to steal the tie, and even then their overall play at the end was not particularly inspired as the final goals came on poached ricochet’s around the box and not from any real skill. This is not to take anything away from their first goal which was an incredible goal, so the danger is still there. Dortmund’s familiarity and their struggles recently should make this an easier tie for Bayern.
Also, Barcelona has Lionel Messi and Real Madrid has Cristiano Ronaldo; players that where even if Bayern played a flawless game, they could still beat you with a moment of incredible brilliance. I’d like to avoid them for as long as possible.
Samrin "Twinkle" Hasib – Real Madrid
This might come back to bite me but we have a great record against Real Madrid and I feel we can do it even without Mario Mandzukic. Dortmund would be difficult to play against considering Mario Mandzukic will be absent in the first leg. He is hugely important in games against BVB. I wouldn't mind playing Barca as if you to have be the best, you have to beat the best. However, I feel we are just a little better in each department than Madrid and we can beat them if we are at our best. Madrid has improved this season and so have we. Madrid's performances have ranged between pathetic and excellent; I think we can get to them.
Phillip Quinn – Borussia Dortmund (if he had to chose)
Who do I prefer to face in the Champions League semifinal? Is it weird that I really don't have a preference? I'm very confident that we're good enough to beat any of the remaining three teams in the competition. If you forced me to choose, I would likely pick Borussia Dortmund in the next round. We've beaten them once already this season (DFB Pokal) and played to a draw at their place (Bundesliga). However, I'm torn on the fact that I think it would be awesome to have a Germany vs Germany final. All I know is that I'm really excited for the remainder of this season and look forward to winning every trophy possible.
Scott Schroder – Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund doesn’t have Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. With Barcelona and Real Madrid, even a perfectly executed strategy can go to waste with the singular brilliance of Messi or Ronaldo. Every time either of those players touches the ball, your heart sinks as an opposing fan because you know that there is the serious possibility that the ball could end up in the back of the net. I certainly fear this prospect because I think we all know what it feels like to be the better side for an entire match and still lose because of one moment of brilliance from the other side. With regards to Dortmund; Bayern and Malaga have demonstrated how to beat them and most of all, I feel that we would not need any luck getting past Die Schwarzgelben. Been there, done that so to speak, even if FCB beating Dortmund is sort of a new development in recent times.
That said, I also dread drawing BVB. This feeling comes from the pessimistic side of all of us I think, because to lose to them over two legs would make for the most painful, humiliating defeat possible. Europe’s darlings would hog even more of the headlines and Bayern’s record-breaking league campaign would be tainted by it, no doubt. And Kloppo. I just wouldn’t be able take any more of that guy.
They say that it’s BVB who have everything to play for, having been eliminated from every other competition. Hoewver, if Bayern crash out of the UCL at the hands of Dortmund, the league and DFB-Pokal won’t really matter to anyone outside of Germany, and unfortunately, most of us are outside of Germany.
The time is nigh for Bayern to personally guarantee that BVB do not win any trophies this season. Dominating them in the table, eliminating them from the Pokal and besting them in the Champions League, especially if the second leg is in the Westfalenstadion, would be a fan’s dream come true.
Davis VanOpdorp – Barcelona
Huh? What? Am I CARAZAY? Did I have too much Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier? Maybe... but Barcelona is not the Barcelona of a few years ago. Paris Saint Germain took the game to Barcelona on Wednesday, and if not for the Messí substitution, they might not have gone through. They haven't been the Spanish Inquisition at the Camp Nou that they have been in the past, keeping only three clean sheets at home in their last 10 games.
Messí does give them the potency to get a huge result, but Messí has not faced the quality of Dante, Daniel van Buyten, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Javi Martinez up the middle, all of whom will be focused on shutting Messí down. Also, Barcelona's back four has not passed the eye test for me, and the goals that Paris Saint Germain scored over the two legs kind of exacerbated that.
Even with our recent success against the other two sides and the way both struggled on Tuesday, both of those teams scare me, especially since they are playing for their football season (well, Real Madrid have the Copa del Rey, but that seems more like a consolation prize than anything, especially with their standards). Barcelona are a team a little out of form, and a balanced team can beat the likes of Barcelona. Bayern have that team.
But enough from us. What do you think? Cast your vote and tell us what you think in the comments below (or just complain about how outrageous we are).
Thanks for reading, from all of us.