In three of the four UEFA Champions League quarter-finals drawn today the sides have never met, which is not the case with the tie of the round: AC Milan v holders FC Barcelona.
FC Barcelona will renew ties with AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals after today's draw in Nyon while APOEL FC can look forward to taking on Real Madrid CF.
Barcelona are aiming to become the first team since Milan – and the first in the UEFA Champions League era – to win back-to-back crowns. Led by 12-goal Lionel Messi, the Spanish champions will travel to the San Siro for the first leg of a tie which evokes the famous final of 1994 when the Rossoneri defeated a Barcelona outfit featuring current coach Josep Guardiola 4-0 in Athens.
Madrid, the runaway Liga leaders, have the most quarter-finals under their belt – 28 – and they will face the most inexperienced side after being paired with an APOEL squad competing at this level for the first time.
Along with APOEL, Chelsea FC are only team remaining yet to get their hands on club football's greatest prize. Having required extra time to eliminate SSC Napoli in dramatic fashion, the English side will have to be at their best to get the better of SL Benfica. The two-time winners knocked out Manchester United FC in the group stage before dispatching FC Zenit St Petersburg.
This season's competition concludes in Munich on 19 May, and FC Bayern München are bidding to go all the way and become the third club to lift the European Cup at their own stadium after Madrid (1956/57) and FC Internazionale Milano (1964/65). The German team were pitted with Olympique de Marseille, playing their first quarter-final since 1991, with the winners due to meet APOEL or Madrid in the last four.
The other semi-final, drawn today, will see Benfica or Chelsea square off against Milan or Barcelona.
1 APOEL FC (CYP) v Real Madrid CF (ESP): 27 March/4 April
2 Olympique de Marseille (FRA) v FC Bayern München (GER): 28 March/3 April
3 SL Benfica (POR) v Chelsea FC (ENG): 27 March/4 April
4 AC Milan (ITA) v FC Barcelona (ESP): 28 March/3 April
1: Marseille/Bayern v APOEL/Madrid: 17 & 25 April
2: Benfica/Chelsea v Milan/Barcelona: 18 & 24 April
Final (19 May, Fußball Arena München, 20.45CET)
Winner semi-final 1 v Winner semi-final 2