After facing off in two of the last three Champions League finals, city rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are faced with a semifinal derby.
The two were pitted against one another in Friday’s semifinal draw, with Serie A leader Juventus and Ligue 1 leader Monaco paired in the other matchup.
Real Madrid won the November meeting with Atletico Madrid in La Liga 3-0, but they drew in the more recent matchup earlier this month. Their recent history and intimate knowledge of one another should make for an intriguing and intense two-game series in Spain’s capital.
Juventus going against Monaco presents a strength vs. strength matchup. Juventus hasn’t conceded a goal in 531 Champions League minutes, shutting out powerful Barcelona in both legs of the quarterfinals. Conversely, Monaco has scored three goals in each of its four knockout matches against Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund, with 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe and Colombian veteran Radamel Falcao among those leading the way.
That’s not to say Juventus’s attack is lacking, with Argentine stars Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain leading the line for a club looking to reach its second final in three years.
The first legs will be May 2 and 3, while the second legs will be a week later, May 9 and 10. Real Madrid and Monaco will host the opening legs, while Atletico Madrid and Juventus have the honors of hosting the second legs.
The competition’s final is slated for June 3 at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Real Madrid is vying to become the first team to repeat as Champions League winner since AC Milan accomplished the feat in 1989-1990. The club has won the European championship a record 11 times.
Juventus is seeking its first title since 1996 and third overall, while neither Monaco nor Atletico Madrid has won a European title. Monaco’s only trip to the final came in 2004 in a loss to Jose Mourinho’s Porto, while in addition to Atletico’s two recent final losses, it fell to Bayern Munich in the 1974 final.