THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

UEFA Champions League Germany v Spain blockbusters set to thrill football fans

UEFA Champions League Final 2013 - Official Match Ball

The UEFA Champions League season 2012/13 is approaching its climax with the two semi-finals first legs scheduled to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. The battle for the crown of European club football will be an affair between Germany and Spain – the two countries which have been the dominant forces in the recent years and of course the battle of two different football cultures!

Bundesliga runaway champions and last year’s finalist FC Bayern Munich will host Lionel Messi’s FC Barcelona at the Allianz Arena, while Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid team will travel to Germany to face surprise package Borussia Dortmund.

The football world shares one opinion ahead of the two Germany v Spain encounters in the elite league of football: The semi-finals will unarguably feature the best four teams of the season! And it will be the clash of two different leagues with different work philosophies. It will be the clash of the indebted La Liga with a huge discrepancy between the clubs and the wealthy Bundesliga which has found its way to the top with a well planned roadmap.

The first semi-final on Tuesday could have been a mouth-watering final, but the draw had different plans for the two most dominant clubs in Europe. It is the clash between Bayern and Barcelona, which promises to be an entertaining ball game. The Germans look like an unbeatable mean machine in the recent months and they are on a mission to claim European glory. Jupp Heynckes’ team is a matured squad and they are focused to win the title after losing the finals in 2010 (0-2 v Inter Milan) and more important the one in 2012 (3-4 v Chelsea FC) at their very own stadium in Munich.

Tito Vilanova’s FC Barcelona had been dominating European football in the last few years, but they are not the invincible side they used to be anymore. The Spaniards had a quite shaky La Liga season although leading the league table ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid. Lionel Messi’s form of the day will be a key factor in the clash between these two star-spangled sides which are chasing their fifth European crown.

The second semi-final between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid will be a rematch as both teams met each other at the group stage. Dortmund won both matches in Group D and the confidence is high in Juergen Klopp’s squad that they can do the same magic once again.

Real Madrid seeks only their second win in 25 visits to Germany and José Mourinho has a lot of respect for the German side. Mourinho travelled to Germany to have a look at Dortmund, when he attended Borussia’s away game at SpVgg Greuther Fuerth.

Mourinho is a master tactician and he is ambitious enough not to lose once again against the Germans. But Dortmund has been an inspirational side this season with youngster like Marco Reus and Mario Goetze as the driving force behind the success. And there are many experts who believe that Dortmund could go all the way and clinch the trophy.

The stage is set for two entertaining UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Both matches will be 50-50 affair and football fans can expect two tight home and away legs. Spanish football fans are dreaming of another “El Clásico”, while Germans are hoping for an all-German final at Wembley.

The Road to Wembley has been an entertaining one so far, but we are yet to see the real highlights. Bayern v Barcelona and Dortmund v Real promises to be the encounters football fans have been waiting for: European football at its best!