Latin might meets in Madrid

The champions of Italy and Spain come together in tonight's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg.

The jangle of jewels could be heard across Europe if UEFA Champions League semi-final opponents Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC were to engage in a game of 'Show us your medals'. Between them this pair have won more than 100 pieces of silverware including 54 league titles and 20 UEFA club competition trophies.

Last time out
The last time they met was in the 1998 final in Amsterdam, when Zinedine Zidane, now a Madrid favourite, was in Juventus colours and on the losing side. Yet when they come together in tonight's semi-final first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu it will be only their fifth tie over the last five decades.

Morale blow
Madrid's preparations have not been ideal. Vicente del Bosque's side suffered their first home league defeat since November 2000 last weekend, losing 5-1 to RCD Mallorca. "We took a hammering," admitted Fernando Hierro, who himself took a hammering from the Spanish press.

Juventus in form
While Madrid have now lost three of their last five games in all competitions, Juventus - who overcame another Spanish side, FC Barcelona, in the last round - have suffered just three defeats in their last 15 and moved a step closer to retaining their Serie A title with a 0-0 draw at S.S. Lazio on Saturday.

Previous meetings
Those expecting a contrast between cavalier attacking and catenaccio should note that six of the previous eight games between the sides finished 1-0. Madrid were winners after a play-off was required to settle the European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-final meeting in 1962.

Final hurdle
They repeated the feat with a penalty shoot-out success in the European Cup second round in 1986. Juventus won the 1996 Champions League quarter-final meeting but two years later Predrag Mijatovic's only goal settled the final in Amsterdam. Another final awaits the winner this time.

uefa.com will bring you live audio and text commentary of tonight's match as well as an in-depth match report and post-match review featuring video highlights.

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