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Spanish giants kept apart in Champions League semifinals

By John Sinnott, CNN
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Fri April 12, 2013
Barcelona looked very reliant on Lionel Messi as they progressed to the Champions League semifinals.
Barcelona looked very reliant on Lionel Messi as they progressed to the Champions League semifinals.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona will play Bayern Munich in the Euroepan Champions League semifinals
  • Nine-time winner Real Madrid face Borussia Dortmund in the last four
  • Semifinals will be played on 23 and 24 April, with the return legs on 30 April and 1 May
  • Chelsea face Basel, while Fenerbahce meet Benfica in the Europa League semifinals

Editor's note:

(CNN) -- The prospect of arguably the two best club sides in the world contesting the European Champions League final remains a possibility after Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid were kept apart in the semifinal draw in Nyon, Switzerland.

Current Spanish league leaders Barca were drawn against Bayern Munich, who have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title this season, while Real Madrid will play Borussia Dortmund.

"It's our chance to show that Bayern Munich has improved since 2009 (when Barcelona beat Bayern 4-0) and that we can now compare ourselves to the best teams," Bayern honorary president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters on Friday.

"It will be a good comparison between the Bundesliga and the Spanish league."

Read: Messi emerges to rescue Barcelona

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Last season Real and Dortmund won the Spanish and German league titles.

While Real have been off the pace in the Spanish league this season -- Jose Mourinho's side are 12 points behind Barca -- the Madrid club beat their Catalan rivals recently in the Spanish Cup semifinals.

In the Bundesliga, Dortmund have also lagged as Bayern have romped to the title, but Jurgen Klopp's side have looked a different proposition in the Champions League and are the only unbeaten side in this season's competition.

Dortmund got the better of Real when the two sides met in the group stages, with the German side beating Real 2-1 in their Westfalenstadion and then securing an impressive 2-2 draw in Madrid to finish top of their section.

The semifinal meeting between Barca and Bayern has an added twist in that the Catalan's side former coach coach Pep Guardiola will replace the German club's coach Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.

Heynckes was Real's coach in 1998, when Madrid won their first title in the competition in more than 30 years.

Real are chasing a 10th European Cup, although their last win was back in 2002.

Read: Dortmund end Malaga dream

Their arch-rivals Barcelona and Bayern both have four and Borussia weigh in with their single victory in 1997 when they upset favourites Juventus 3-1 in the final.

The semifinal will be played on 23 and 24 April, with the return legs on 30 April and 1 May to decide who will meet in the Wembley final in London on May 25.

In the Europa League, Chelsea will face Switzerland's Basel, while Turkish side Fenerbahce face Portugal's Benfica on April 25 and May 2 for the right to contest the final in Amsterdam on May 15.

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