There was relief all-round in Spain as La Liga's big two were kept apart at Friday morning's Champions League draw in Nyon, with Barcelona drawn against Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid to face Borussia Dortmund, in two mouth-watering Spanish v German semi-final ties.
It's Dortmund. Looking forward to this games. We want to play the final. Hala Madrid Hala Madrid
• Tomas: Barca must not fear Bayern
• Rigg: Familiar foes
• Schaaf: Battle of FCBs
Uersfeld: Welcome underdogs Bayern were the first team drawn, with Barcelona following them out of the pot setting up a first leg in Munich in two weeks' time with the return game at the Camp Nou a week later. Barca's game against Bayern, who will be coached from next season by former Barca boss Josep Guardiola, would be a clash of footballing styles, predicted Barcelona's football sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta. "I believe this is a great tie, all the four teams are great teams," Zubizarreta said. "They are a great team, a great club. We will try and play our football, it will be a mix of styles. I hope we get back to playing the way we like, and to make it to [Wembley], a place which is magical for us." 2-1 at home and drew 2-2 at the Bernabeu. "We have played them twice already this season and were not able to beat them," Butragueno said. "But we believe this time around we will be able to do it, and make it to Wembley."
Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke, meanwhile, told Sky: "We are happy with the draw. I feel sorry for Uli Hoeness for not having drawn the weakest opponent". A response to commments Hoeness had made earlier in the week that Dortmund would represent the easiest route to the final for Bayern.
General manager Michael Zorc marked his side out as underdogs in the games against Real and admitted they would have preferred to finish with a home tie.
He said: "That is a good draw, both pairings are ideal for European football. Going into our tie we will be the slight outsiders, but we have already beaten them once this season. We won a lot of respect through that. It will be two absolute highlight games. Of course, we had hoped to play the away leg first."
The games will be played Tuesday April 23 and Wednesday 24, with the return games the following week - April 30 and May 1. The final takes place at Wembley on Saturday May 25, when the winners of semi-final 2 [Dortmund or Madrid] will be the designated 'home' side.
Van Nistelrooy also used the occasion to say he felt for another of his former sides - Malaga - who were eliminated from the competition in heartbreaking and controversial style by Dortmund on Tuesday.
"I am still a bit sad for my Malaga not to be there," the Dutchman said. "It was such a harsh way to go out. I want to tell them I am so proud of them."
It's Dortmund. Looking forward to this games. We want to play the final. Hala Madrid Hala Madrid— Mesut Özil(@MesutOzil1088) April 12, 2013