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Barcelona and Real Madrid kept apart in Champions League draw

updated 10:12 AM EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Clashes between fierce Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are always a feisty affair
Clashes between fierce Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona are always a feisty affair
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona and Real Madrid kept apart in Champions League draw
  • Real to play APOEL Nicosia while Euro champs Barcelona face AC Milan
  • Chelsea to face Portugal's Benfica after beating Napoli in last-16
  • German giants Bayern Munich to play French champions Marseille

(CNN) -- An 'El Clasico' European Champions League final between Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona remains a mouthwatering prospect after the teams were kept apart in the quarterfinal draw.

Barca, the defending champions, have been drawn to play AC Milan, from Italy, while Real, managed by Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, will play Cypriot minnows APOEL Nicosia.

The two clubs are fierce rivals with Mourinho beating opposite number Pep Guardiola just once in ten meetings. Real are ten points clear in La Liga though, and almost certain to claim their first title since 2008.

Elsewhere, German side Bayern Munich have been drawn to play French champions Marseille while English Premier League club Chelsea's reward for beating Napoli is a tie with Portuguese team Benfica.

Chelsea see off Napoli in extra-time thriller

The draw for the semifinals of the prestigious competition was also made, with the winners of Real and APOEL's tie facing Bayern or Marseille, while Barca or AC will face off against Chelsea or Benfica.

Barcelona, who have won the trophy three times in the last six seasons, faced Serie A leaders Milan in the group stages of Europe's lucrative club tournament, drawing 2-2 at home and winning 3-2 in Italy.

Guardiola's side have won their last six games and beat German outfit Bayer Leverkusen 10-2 on aggregate over their two matches in the last 16.

APOEL's reward for making the last eight of the Champions League for the first time in their history is a glamor tie with Real Madrid, who disposed of CSKA Moscow in the last round.

Real coach Mourinho is gunning for a record third Champions League crown, having previously won the title with Porto, from Portugal, and Inter Milan.

2010 winners Inter Milan exit Champions League

Bayern Munich, who are searching for their first victory in the Champions League since 2001, put seven goals past Swiss side Basel in the second leg of their last-16 match.

They play Marseille, who knocked out 2010 winners Inter Milan this week.

Chelsea, who recently sacked coach Andre Villas-Boas and installed former player Roberto Di Matteo as interim manager, travel to Benfica.

The club, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, are struggling in fifth spot in the Premier League with their place in next season's Champions League under threat.

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