'It's a European Clasico' – Breitner relishing Bayern-Madrid semi-final

The former Germany international believes the last-four tie will be “very special” for Pep Guardiola and says all four remaining sides are equally matched

Former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid midfielder Paul Breitner has likened the Champions League semi-final between his two old clubs as “a European Clasico”.

The holders were pitted against Carlo Ancelotti’s side in Friday’s draw in Nyon in a repeat of the last-four clash from 2011-12, which Bayern won on penalties.

Breitner – who played for Madrid in a meeting between the sides in 1976 – admits Bayern have positive recollections of their previous encounter and claims it will be a “very special” tie for coach Pep Guardiola.

“We have quite good memories. We are convinced we can play the final in Lisbon because our team is doing so well, we are so strong, we are on the best way to defend the treble,” he told Eurosport.

“It’s a European Clasico. I played it in 1976, but I was playing the semi for Real Madrid and we lost. It’s a long, long experience for both clubs in the semi-finals.

“Both matches will be very special ones for Pep Guardiola, I think he likes to demonstrate that quality, the level which our team has under his leadership. I think he’s very happy to play Real Madrid.

“Real is less painful than Atletico or Chelsea because those two pack the defence. Manchester United defended with nine guys in their box, too. The Spanish clubs prefer playing against English teams than playing against a German team. That’s why all of the Madrid guys have a lot of respect.”

The other tie sees Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea pitted against Atletico Madrid, who beat Barcelona in the quarter-finals, and Breitner believes there is nothing to separate the remaining sides in the tournament.

“Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, there is no difference, we are all at the same level. We need to play two games at our top level [to reach the final],” he added.

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