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Champions League semi-finals: Meet the teams

Analysis, key players, facts and stats: all you need to know about the teams who have reached the last four of the UEFA Champions League.

Bayern, Dortmund, Paris and Real Madrid are the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League semi-finalists. profiles the last four teams left in this season's competition.

Semi-final ties

First legs
30/04 Bayern 2-2 Real Madrid
01/05 Dortmund 1-0 Paris

Second legs
07/05 Paris vs Dortmund
08/05 Real Madrid vs Bayern

Bayern München (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 2
Group A: W5 D1 L0 F12 A6 (winners)
Round of 16: 3-1agg vs Lazio
Quarter-finals: 3-2agg vs Arsenal
Semi-finals: vs Real Madrid, 2-2(h), 08/05(a)
Last season
: Quarter-finals (L1-4agg vs Man City)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 2000/01, 2012/13, 2019/20)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer: Harry Kane (69)

Highlights: Bayern 2-2 Real Madrid Bayern reporter: Having been deposed as Bundesliga champions after 11 years of dominance, it is all or nothing for Bayern in Europe as they look to avoid a first trophyless season since 2012. Ending their four-year absence from the Champions League final four is a timely tonic, but with Kane providing the world-class finishing that was missing in Europe last term, there is a belief that this star-studded Bayern squad could yet end a difficult season with the biggest prize of them all.

Why Bayern can win the competition
Bayern have had their ups and downs, but title-winning class is permanent; in Thomas Tuchel, they have a coach who boasts the same quality. To an extent, the pressure is off in Europe, with domestic travails dampening expectations. But, in Kane, the six-time European champions have an elite striker, the type of player who could fire them to title number seven.

How Bayern play
Tuchel has preached about "fast and fluid" football since arriving at the club last season, and that translates into sharp vertical passes out from the back and some incisive interplay in the final third. Kane has proved the perfect puzzle piece up front, not just because of his goalscoring but also his ability to drop deep and link up the play, allowing Bayern to get the best out of the pace advantage they have against most sides in wide positions.

Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel impressed with Mainz and Dortmund before guiding Paris to a domestic treble and the Champions League final in 2019/20. He took over at Chelsea in January 2021 and led them to Champions League glory in a matter of months, before returning to Germany with Bayern in March 2023 and steering them home in the title race. He will leave the club at the end of the season.

Key player: Harry Kane
The England captain and the German giants have proved a match made in heaven. Kane's record-breaking scoring rate has made Bayern's acquisition of the former Tottenham striker look like one of the bargains of the summer. Beyond his insatiable appetite up front, Kane has underlined his ability to link play with an incredible range of passing, while helping to raise the game of every player around him and leading by example in all areas of the pitch.

Did you know?
Heading into their last-four first leg with Madrid, Bayern had lost only three of their previous 27 home matches in UEFA competition semi-finals (W16 D8).

Dortmund (GER)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 10
Group F
: W3 D2 L1 F7 A4 (winners)
Round of 16: 3-1agg vs PSV
Quarter-finals: 5-4agg vs Atlético de Madrid
Semi-finals: vs Paris, 1-0(h), 07/05(a)
Last season
: Round of 16 (L1-2agg vs Chelsea)
Best European Cup performance
: Winners (1996/1997)
Top Fantasy Football points scorer: Mats Hummels (75)

Highlights: Dortmund 1-0 Paris Dortmund reporter: Not many expected Dortmund to be the first team to qualify from an extremely tough Group F. Having lost 2-0 at Paris in the first match and drawn another blank at home to Milan (0-0), back-to-back wins without conceding against Newcastle changed their fortunes. Another mature performance at Milan ensured qualification with one game to spare. BVB held their nerve under intense pressure from PSV in the last-16 return to reach the quarter-finals, where they edged a classic against Atlético de Madrid.

Why Dortmund can win the competition
When Dortmund get on a roll they take some stopping. BVB stumbled in the first leg in Eindhoven and again in Madrid but, stirred by a boisterous crowd, the Black and Yellows prevailed each time. Home advantage is a major factor. Dortmund have shown this term that they can beat any team, so their journey in this season's competition is far from over.

How Dortmund play
Wary of a difficult task ahead, BVB set out with a counterattacking mindset and a back three for the first group match at Paris. They changed their set-up during that match, brought on a natural No9 instead of two counterattacking forwards and their game improved right away. Since then, they have always opted for a system with a back four and three central midfielders, with pacy wingers such as Donyell Malen, Karim Adeyemi and Jadon Sancho playing a decisive role. From that basic formation, Dortmund are capable of progressing the ball or pressing in different ways.

Coach: Edin Terzić
Terzić began his coaching career in Dortmund's academy in 2010. He had a spell as interim first-team boss during the 2020/21 campaign, when he lead BVB to victory over Leipzig in the German Cup final before taking them within minutes of dethroning champions Bayern last season.

Key player: Julian Brandt
One of the Bundesliga's most consistent and impressive performers for several years, German international Brandt joined Dortmund after five and a half seasons at Leverkusen. Now 27, the creative midfielder has completed four years at BVB, making at least 40 appearances every season and hitting double figures for goals last term. He wasn't fully fit in the last game against PSV but played a decisive role again in the quarter-finals.

Did you know?
Dortmund are in the semi-finals for the first time since 2012/13, when Jürgen Klopp's men overcame a team they had met in the group stage (Real Madrid) to reach the final at Wembley.

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 4
Group F: W2 D2 L2 F9 A8 (runners-up)
Round of 16: 4-1agg vs Real Sociedad
Quarter-finals: 6-4agg vs Barcelona
Semi-finals: vs Dortmund, 0-1(a), 07/05(h)
Last season
: Round of 16 (L0-3agg vs Bayern)
Best European Cup performance: Runners-up (2019/20)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer: Kylian Mbappé (59)

Paris Saint-Germain's road to the semi-finals: Every goal Paris reporter: Paris are through to the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in five seasons. After a group campaign which included a chastening 4-1 defeat at Newcastle, hopes of a deep run in this year's competition were tempered. Fast forward a few months, though, and following an expertly navigated round of 16 second leg against Real Sociedad and comeback triumph over Barcelona, Parisian optimism is rising. This outfit is tactically astute and growing in stature with each passing game.

Why Paris can win the competition
It would be reductive to pin all hopes of a Paris win on Mbappé, but the side from the French capital possess arguably the best player in the world right now. Since arriving at the helm last summer, Luis Enrique has injected energy and youthful exuberance into the side. In Warren Zaïre-Emery, they boast one of the brightest midfield talents in the game, and collectively they're growing in maturity.

How Paris play 
Luis Enrique has implemented a system predicated on tactical flexibility. Nominally a 4-3-3, their approach soon moulds into a 3-4-3 when in possession. Lucas Hernández's positional nous on the left of their back four allows Achraf Hakimi the freedom to operate as an auxiliary midfielder. Another common switch involves Vitinha, who often occupies the berth on the left of the midfield three, moving wide to allow danger man Mbappé to roam into the central spaces.

Coach: Luis Enrique
The former Barcelona and Real Madrid player won nine trophies during a hugely successful three-year spell in charge of the Blaugrana, including two La Liga crowns and the 2014/15 Champions League. He led Spain to the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals and the 2021 Nations League final before succeeding Christophe Galtier at Paris last July.

Key player: Kylian Mbappé
Mbappé burst onto the European stage with Monaco in 2016/17 and has never looked back. A FIFA World Cup winner with France in 2018, he became the youngest player to reach 30 Champions League goals in 2021/22 at the age of 22 years and 352 days, taking the record from then team-mate Lionel Messi.

Did you know?
Mbappé has this season taken his tally to 48 Champions League goals and is well on course to become the second youngest to reach 50 after Messi. He has just under three years to score twice more and push Cristiano Ronaldo down to third.

Real Madrid (ESP)

UEFA coefficient ranking: 3
Group C: W6 D0 L0 F16 A7 (winners)
Round of 16: 2-1agg vs Leipzig
Quarter-finals: 4-4agg (4-3pens) vs Man City
Semi-finals: vs Bayern, 2-2(a), 08/05(h)
Last season
: Semi-finals (L1-5agg vs Man City)
Best European Cup performance: Winners (1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2001/02, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2021/22)
Top Fantasy Football points-scorer: Jude Bellingham (62)

Bayern vs Real Madrid previous meetings Real Madrid reporter: Madrid remain fun to watch, and report on. But the nerve-shredding and sensory overload moments which were unheralded themes of their otherwise perfect group qualification became more notable in the round of 16 and quarter-finals. How much Madrid owed to their goalkeeper, Andriy Lunin for the elimination of Leipzig was increased hugely against City. The Ukrainian was stellar in most of both knockouts, especially his 24-karat display throughout the penalty shoot-out win in Manchester.

Why Madrid can win the competition
Because they're Madrid. Carlo Ancelotti's side live and breathe the stress, the pride, the ambition, the Houdini acts and the majesty any club needs in order to win this trophy. Surely few share the same all-consuming desire to win this trophy. And if there are some candidates across Europe in better form right now, don't discard the big guns in this squad – Vinícius Júnior, Bellingham, Toni Kroos (plus perhaps the returning Thibaut Courtois and Éder Militão, according to the Italian coach) – hitting their stride at just the right time.

How Real Madrid play
Vivaciously. And, latterly, pugnaciously. If you had to state Los Blancos' current predominant formation, it would be 4-4-2. Ancelotti has a treasury of midfield talent and, until injuries intervened, he wanted to field as much of it as feasible. But rather than viewing four in midfield as a defensive measure (Madrid had largely used 4-3-3 since Ancelotti returned), the key is that Bellingham, alternating between the left side without the ball and the tip of the midfield diamond when Madrid are in possession, can attack the box and score. They are arguably the best counter/transition team in Europe.

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti
The man who led Madrid to La Décima in 2014 came back for a second spell in charge in summer 2021 and rewrote the history books by becoming the first coach to win the European Cup/Champions League four times. He also guided Madrid to the Liga title in 2021/22, making him the first coach to win championships in Italy, England, France, Germany and Spain.

Key player: Jude Bellingham
The England international's move to Madrid was one of the most eye-catching of the summer, and after inheriting Zinédine Zidane's iconic No5 shirt, big things were expected of one of European football's most talented midfielders at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Even while, by his own admission, coping with difficult shoulder and ankle problems, the young Englishman has continued to astonish with his goals, assists, will to win and thunderous love-affair with the Madrid supporters.

Did you know?
Madrid are competing in a record 33rd European Cup/Champions League semi-final. This is their 17th semi-final in the Champions League era, which is also a record.

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