Real, Atletico Madrid renew Champions League hostilities

Real, Atletico Madrid renew Champions League hostilities

The reigning European champions Real Madrid will play city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semifinals.

The Madrid clubs have faced each other in the last three Champions Leagues.

The first legs take place on May 4, with the return legs on May 11.

Juventus and Monaco will contest the other semi-final in the final four.

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But the 39-year-old Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon broke ranks, saying that he would prefer to avoid a wily Atletico side because they are out of the La Liga title race so can rest players for Europe.

Villaverde, asked whether having a home second leg would be an advantage, said: "You never know".

Monaco had enjoyed a comfortable 6-3 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the quarters, and will be the underdogs going into their tie against Juventus.

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In its seventh straight semifinal, Real is trying to become the first team to repeat as champion since the competition's new format was created in 1992.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the leading goalscorer left in the Champions League, having netted seven times, but he needs four more to equal Lionel Messi's tally for the current campaign.

Monaco last met Juve in the quarter-finals of the 2014-15 season, where the Turin side ran out 1-0 aggregate winners.

Monaco last reached the final of the competition in 2004, when they were beaten 3-0 by Jose Mourinho's Porto side.

"Our team sets no limits, they are young, talented and not afraid".

Vadim Vasilyev, the French side's vice-president, said they would be motivated by the bitter memories of being turfed out of the competition by the Italians in 2015 in the quarter-finals.

The National Stadium of Wales in Cardiff will stage the final at 20:45CET on Saturday 3 June.

Vasilyev recognises that Juve are stronger now than they were two years ago, but also warned that Monaco are a different proposition.

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