Following a suspenseful Champions League draw that left millions of football fans on the edge of their seats, we now know who is facing who at this critical stage of the tournament.
Real Madrid was first out of the pot, followed by Bayern Munich. This meant that Real Madrid would not be meeting local rivals Atlético Madrid for a derby match-up.
At least…not yet.
To get at each other, the La Liga rivals will have to get through their semifinals opposition.
Atlético Madrid drew Chelsea FC by default. There was one major stipulation of this potential drawing that many were concerned about.
As it turns out, Atlético Madrid’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is on loan from none other than Chelsea FC.
The English club had said that Atlético Madrid would have to pay out a great deal of cash for the privilege of starting their loaned player in the semifinals matches. The high price tag meant that the La Liga side would not have been able to let Courtois feature in the Champions League games.
Chelsea don't have a hope in hell against Atletico Madrid, the Real and Bayern game could be hard to call.
— Kyle Arbuckle (@KyleArbuckle) April 11, 2014
People are sleeping so hard on Atletico Madrid. They're joint too of La Liga and beaten some of Europe's best repeatedly. Respect them pls.
— Miguel (@MonezMarifa) April 11, 2014
The UEFA has apparently resolved the matter, saying that Courtios is indeed free to face-off against Chelsea.
With that minor controversy settled, fans and neutral observers are now trying to determine which of the two teams is the more likely to feature in the Champions League final.
The knee-jerk reaction to the draw would be to make Atlético Madrid the automatic favorite. After all, they did defeat FC Barcelona with greater ease than many would have anticipated.
Atlético Madrid has been running rampant in both their domestic league and the Champions League. It could be that they are the team to watch out for.
However, one does not simply risk underestimating a team like Chelsea FC. Other football teams have done just that, only to find themselves shocked by upsets.
Few know this better than Bayern Munich. Though the Bundesliga team is set to meet Real Madrid, they will likely have an eye on Chelsea.
There is also master tactician to be found in their controversial manager Jose Mourinho. Like him or hate him, the man is more than up to the task of guiding the London side to victory.
Jose Mourinho won three of his four meetings with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid in all competitions when at Real Madrid #UCL
— FansAllStar Football (@FASfootball) April 11, 2014
Chelsea is unpredictable an Atlético Madrid is unrelenting. This can only mean that we are likely to experience a couple of very exciting semifinal fixtures.
Image via YouTube