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Semi-finalist profile: Real Madrid

Published: Thursday 12 April 2012, 12.30CET
After sweeping aside all before them in Europe this term, Real Madrid CF are hopeful of a tenth title, yet José Mourinho's side first have to overcome a club with their own special incentive.
by Paul Bryan
from Madrid

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Published: Thursday 12 April 2012, 12.30CET

Semi-finalist profile: Real Madrid

After sweeping aside all before them in Europe this term, Real Madrid CF are hopeful of a tenth title, yet José Mourinho's side first have to overcome a club with their own special incentive.

Since the summer of 2002, the talk among Real Madrid CF supporters at the beginning of every new campaign centres on whether or not this will be the year La Décima – or a tenth European Cup – will be won. With their team arriving to a second successive semi-final boasting better statistics than at this same stage last season, Madridistas have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Story of the season
José Mourinho's side were drawn against familiar faces in Group D with AFC Ajax and Olympique Lyonnias having provided opposition in the previous campaign. GNK Dinamo Zagreb, meanwhile, proved an unknown quantity in the section but that mattered little to Madrid who went on to become only the fifth team to win all six games in a UEFA Champions League group stage, registering 19 goals along the way. Unfamiliar opponents continued to arrive in the knockout stages with PFC CSKA Moskva falling by a 5-2 aggregate score in the round of 16 while APOEL FC's remarkable journey to the last eight was halted by a ruthless Madrid who managed eight goals over two legs against the Cypriot champions.

Semi-final pedigree
P22 W12 L10
Last 2010/11 v FC Barcelona (0-2 home, 1-1 away)

Record against semi-final opponent
Madrid may be competing in their 23rd European Cup semi-final – more than any other club – but their record against opponents FC Bayern München does not make for ideal reading for those connected with the nine-time winners. Bayern have won ten of their 18 meetings, and in four previous ties between the teams at this stage, the German giants have gone on to reach the final on three occasions. Jupp Heynckes' outfit also have the added incentive of playing this year's showpiece at their own ground.

2006/07 UEFA Champions League round of 16
Real Madrid CF 3-2 FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München 2-1 Real Madrid CF (agg 4-4, Bayern win on away goals)

2003/04 UEFA Champions League round of 16
FC Bayern München 1-1 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF 1-0 FC Bayern München (agg 2-1)

2001/02 UEFA Champions League quarter-final
FC Bayern München 2-1 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF 2-0 FC Bayern München (agg 3-2)

2000/01 UEFA Champions League semi-final
Real Madrid CF 0-1 FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München 2-1 Real Madrid (agg 3-1)

1999/2000 UEFA Champions League semi-final
Real Madrid CF 2-0 FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München 2-1 Real Madrid CF (agg 2-3)

1999/2000 UEFA Champions League second group stage
Real Madrid CF 2-4 FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München 4-1 Real Madrid CF

1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final
FC Bayern München 3-2 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF 2-0 FC Bayern München (agg 4-3)

1986/87 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final    
FC Bayern München 4-1 Real Madrid CF
Real Madrid CF 1-0 FC Bayern München (agg 2-4)

1975/76 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final
Real Madrid CF 1-1 FC Bayern München
FC Bayern München 2-0 Real Madrid CF (agg 3-1)

Key moment
On what could otherwise have ended up a frustrating night for ten-man Madrid in their UEFA Champions League opener at the Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb, Ángel Di María rifled in a fantastic second-half strike to give his side a 1-0 win that laid the foundation for a perfect group stage campaign.

Quote
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
"I'm satisfied with the side's progress in the Champions League over the past two years. When I got here the team was enduring a dark period in European competition. Now we've had two consecutive seasons in the semi-finals."

Top scorer
The third highest goalscorer in this season's tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo's eight strikes in the current campaign is his best total in three seasons in the Spanish capital. "I'm leaving my mark at Real Madrid; I want to make history here," the 27-year-old said recently. "I'm at my peak right now and am continuing to enjoy the moment."

Unsung hero
Hampered by injuries since his arrival at Madrid from AC Milan in 2009, Brazilian attacking midfielder Kaká – with three goals and five assists to date in this season's UEFA Champions League – has regained the form that led to his €68m move to the Santiago Bernabéu. "As time passes I feel more and more confident; I'd say I'm making strides at the most important stage of the season," he told UEFA.com.

Last updated: 05/12/13 7.15CET

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