The Madrid derby is a repeat of two of the last three finals, both won by Real in dramatic circumstances, while Monaco take on Juve in a repeat of their 1998 semi
And that’s it from here. Now, for the Europa League - find out who Manchester United will draw in the semi-finals of that one, here.
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been drawn against each other in the Champions League semi-final, with Monaco and Juventus to compete in the other semi.
The Madrid derby is a repeat of two of the last three finals, both won by Real in dramatic circumstances: they prevailed on penalties in 2016, while Atletico were moments away from winning the 2014 edition, before Real came back to claim the trophy in extra-time.
Monaco and Juve have faced each other at this stage of the competition before, in 1998. Monaco won the first leg 3-2, with Thierry Henry scoring one of the goals for the French side, but Juve came back to win the second leg 4-1, thanks to an Alessandro del Piero hat-trick, thus securing their passage to the final 6-4 on aggregate.
The first legs will be played on May 2/3, with the second scheduled for May 9/10.
And the absolutely vital notion of who will be the ‘home’ team in the final: it’s the winner of semi-final two.
...after Rush struggles a little opening the balls. If you will.
...a semi-final derby!
The first team out is...Real Madrid.
Here we go...
Rush is asked to sum up all four teams with a single word. He does OK. Everyone else screams “BLOODY HELL JUST MAKE THE DRAW IT’S ONLY TWO GAMES YOU INVETERATE PROCRASTINATORS.”
That bloke who looks like Claudio Ranieri is now on stage. Forget his name. He introduces Ian Rush, and suddenly I realise the absurdity of bothering to type all this out.
“If you’re feeling a sentimental medal for the soon-to-be-Galactified Mbappe, Silva et al,” chides Emile Donovan, “where’s the love for two of the old gentlemen of the game, Buffon and Chiellini? Unbelievable they have ANOTHER chance to win their first CL after the heartbreak of 2015, and it would cap off a grand slam of available tournaments (bar the Euros) for the legendary Buffon, who will surely go down as one of the great men of football. And while they might’ve been architects of their own demise, the way the Italians have built themselves up following Calciopoli really is astonishing. Forza Juve!”
UEFA chief smoothie Pedro Pinto is on stage, hyping this up big style. He then takes things up a notch by introducing Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales, there because the final will of course be in Cardiff. He mentions the Welsh campaign in Euro 2016, which obviously provides a handy excuse to watch Hal Robson Kanu’s goal again.
“I really, really, really want Buffon to win it because I love him so dearly,” writes one David Young, who actually has a picture of Buffon in his wallet, recently displacing the one of his wife.
Actually, you’ve all changed my mind - Monaco to win the whole thing please, for a Ligue Uuuuuuuuuunnnn/Big Cup double, given the circumstances and opposition, would be utterly extraordinary.
“Yes I can see how an Atleti v. Juve final could be good, but I for one would like to see Monaco v. Juve,” says Joe Malone. “The unstoppable force or the immovable object; 3 goals a game or the best defence in Europe; Falcao or Higuain; Mbappe or Dybala. But agree that so long as Real aren’t there I will be happy.”
“Atletico v Juve in the final sounds nice for the reasons you’ve given,” starts Connor O’Hanlon, toeing the party line promisingly, “but given how they play, it would probably be a repeat of 2003 final which no one needs / wants / deserves. Monaco v Real or Juve in the final por favor.”
I could be all contrary and say that actually the 2003 final is an under-appreciated masterpiece, a game that only the tactical purists really understand. But no, it was absolutely terrible.
“Why oh why would you rather have the most boring team - At Madrid - in the final instead of the one - Monaco - playing the most exciting football at the moment?” says Ricardo.
I would dispute the idea that Atleti are boring - they’ve got a strong defence and can close a game out when they need to, but there’s a thrilling visceralness (is that a word? It is now!) to their play that really is entertaining. Plus, there’s Antoine Griezmann. Who is pretty decent.
Simon Tomlinson is dissenting from the party line/my opinion, the absolute renegade. “I’d like a Juve v Monaco final. Atleti are just a bit too dull and Real have won it too many times. I’d like Monaco to win the final as well before their team gets taken apart by the bigger clubs (i.e Mbappe gets nicked by Real/ Barca).” The latter point is a good one. Reasonable chance that Mbappe, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Tiemoue Bakayoko and maybe more could go this summer, or the following one.
Quick reminder of how this lot got here:
Monaco 3-1 Borussia Dortmund (6-3 on agg)
Leicester City 1-1 Atletico Madrid (1-2 on agg)
Barcelona 0-0 Juventus (0-3 on agg)
Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern Munich (6-3 on agg)
Good morning, you. A short reminder, should you require it, of the teams remaining in the mix for this season’s Champions League.
The final we should all probably hope for is Atletico v Juventus, no? Real being in it again is just a bit dull, and while Monaco are great, Atleti v Juve would be such an incredibly good game. Two clubs at something like the peak of their powers, who’ve never played each other in a final before, who just sort of feel like they ‘deserve’ it. So let’s hope they’re kept apart in this draw.
Disagree? Drop me a line and show your working - Nick.Miller@theGuardian.com.