Pep Guardiola is going home.
On Friday the draw for the UEFA Champions League semifinals was made in Nyon, Switzerland as Guardiola will take his Bayern Munich side to the club he previously captained and managed to glory, Barcelona.
[ RELATED: UCL schedule ]
In the other semifinal Juventus will face reigning champions Real Madrid, as Real will be the big favorites to make it through to their second-straight UCL final after knocking out Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals. That draw, of course, also leaves the tantalizing prospect of a Clasico between Real and Barcelona taking place in the UCL final if they win their respective semifinals.
Barca have only won once in eight previous Champions League encounters with Bayern but with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in devastating form in the second half of the season, which Paris Saint-Germain found out the hard way in the quarterfinals, Guardiola will have his work cut out to send the German champions to the UCL final in Berlin on June 6 at the expense of the team he spent over 18 years with (his ex-teammate Luis Enrique is now Barca’s boss) and won the UCL trophy as both a player and coach.
That said, after their incredible 6-1 drubbing of FC Porto in the second leg of their UCL quarterfinal without the injured Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, Bayern will fancy their chances of ousting the Catalan giants.
As for Real, they snuck by Atletico earlier this week thanks to Javier Hernandez’s late goal but they will be wary of the threat that Carlos Tevez and Juve pose as the Italian outfit is close to wrapping a fourth-straight Serie A title plus they’ve beaten Real five times in previous UCL matches. Only Bayern, eight, has beaten Real more in the competition.
The first legs will be played on May 5/6 and the second legs will take place on May 12/13, with Barcelona and Juventus playing at home first before the return legs at Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Champions League semifinal draw
FC Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich
Juventus vs. Real Madrid