Familiar faces in the semi-final: James, Heynckes, Robben, Kroos
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich meet in the Champions league semi-final, a tie that will bring old friends back together in the Allianz Arena and the Bernabéu.
The clash between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will create four reunions in the Champions League semi-final.
James Rodríguez will return to the Bernabéu after joining Bayern Munich on a two-year loan deal last summer. The Colombia international has enjoyed a prominent role at Bayern, and club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has already stated that they will pay €42 million at the end of this season to make James a permanent member of the squad.
The 26-year-old – who will be available despite facing his parent club – has scored six goals and provided 12 assists in 31 matches this season.
Jupp Heynckes – who will celebrate his 73rd birthday at the start of May – will return to the Bernabéu for the second time. The coach faced Real Madrid in the 2011-12 Champions League during his previous spell in charge at Bayern. On that occasion, the Bundesliga side knocked out Jose Mourinho’s Madrid on penalties in the semi-final, before ultimately losing to Chelsea in the final.
Heynckes was the Real Madrid coach for the 1997-98 season, and will always be remembered for ending a 32-year dry spell in the European Cup. Madrid won their seventh European trophy with a win over Juventus in the Amsterdam Arena. Heynckes also added a Spanish Super Cup to the Bernabéu trophy cabinet, which Madrid won at Barcelona’s expense.
The Dutch winger returns to Real Madrid for the fourth time since leaving for Bayern in 2009, yet he has only emerged victorious on one occasion, in 2012.
Robben spent two years in the Spanish capital but a succession of injuries prevented him realizing his potential at the Bernabéu.
Toni Kroos is on the other side of the rivalry. The midfielder came through the academy at Bayern, and went on to play 205 matches for the club before moving to Madrid in 2014.
The Champions League quarter-final clash between Madrid and Bayern last season was the first time Kroos had faced his former club. He was a key part of the team that went on beat Juventus in the final in Cardiff.
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