Four-time winners of the European Cup, FC Bayern München have reserved some of their best form for this season's competition as they seek a fifth title on home soil in May.
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From the moment it was announced that the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League would be held in Munich, it has been FC Bayern München's dream to take part. With qualification for Europe's premier club competition in danger at this stage a year ago, the German giants are now just one step away from reaching their big final.
Story of the season
Having overcome FC Zürich 3-0 on aggregate in the play-off round, Bayern proved their potential by easing through a formidable-looking Group A with a match to spare. They finished ahead of SSC Napoli, Manchester City FC and Villarreal CF and lost just once, in their final match at City when they were assured of winning the group. While their early-season dominance of the Bundesliga has slipped, Bayern recovered from a sticky spell after the winter break and, having reached the German Cup final and still well placed in the league, retain hopes of a treble after brushing aside FC Basel 1893 and Olympique de Marseille in the knockout rounds.
P13 W8 L5
Last: 2009/10 v Olympique Lyonnais (1-0 home, 3-0 away)
Record against semi-final opponents
Bayern won their last tie against Real Madrid CF in 2006/07, and claimed their fourth European title after beating Madrid at this stage in 2000/01. The German giants also prevailed in the semi-finals of 1987 and 1976, although they suffered a last-four defeat against the Spanish side in 1999/2000.
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)
The phenomenal 20 goals Bayern scored in a week to recover from losses at Basel (round of 16 first leg) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Bundesliga). The Bavarian giants put TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (7-1), FC Basel (7-0) and Hertha BSC Berlin (6-0) to the sword, restoring the belief that this really could be their season.
Jupp Heynckes, Bayern coach
"I said to the players that at the start of the season we would have been delighted to still be in all three competitions now. In the end you have to win silverware. We have a lot of big games ahead."
Mario Gomez's 11 goals by this stage would normally leave him well placed to be the UEFA Champions League's top scorer, but instead he has to make do with second place behind the inimitable Lionel Messi (14). "I am not crazy enough to compare myself to Messi," said the Bayern striker. "He is just the best, maybe ever. I'm scoring so often because the team make it easy for me. We're playing attacking football and I'm the one waiting at the end of the line."
In the absence of the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos has stepped into the breach, particularly over the last month. His powerful shot has earned Kroos two European goals while his vision has opened up countless gaps for his team-mates.