Bayern Munich welcome Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena for the first leg of their heavyweight Champions League quarter-final tussle on Wednesday evening.
Here, we compare the two clubs:
Both clubs lead the way in terms of honours in their respective domestic top flights as Bayern have been German champions on 26 occasions, while they are on course for a fifth successive Bundesliga crown this season. Real’s haul of 32 LaLiga titles leaves them eight clear of nearest rivals Barcelona. The Spanish giants stand alone in terms of European Cup successes with 11, including two in their last three seasons, although Bayern’s five triumphs, with their last coming in 2013, is not to be sniffed at.
Both regularly feature in Forbes’ list of the most valuable sports teams – Real were rated the richest football club last year, with Bayern fourth – but there is a difference in philosophies at the heart of each side. Real have broken the world record transfer fee on five consecutive occasions through the years in signing Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, who moved to the Bernabeu for Â£86million in 2013. Bayern are not averse to splashing the cash but typically do not go for ‘Galactico’ type signings, and their highest transfer fee is around the Â£34million they paid Athletic Bilbao for defensive midfielder Javi Martinez five years ago.
Head to head
Despite being two of the leading clubs on the continent, Bayern and Real have never met in the final of the European Cup or Champions League. But they have been paired together 10 times in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition and the bragging rights are split down the middle with five overall wins apiece. Real, though, will have fond memories of their last visit to Bavaria after trouncing Bayern 4-0 in the return leg of their semi-final three years ago en route to a comprehensive 5-0 aggregate success.
Carlo Ancelotti was in the Real dugout for that memorable Allianz Arena victory but less than 12 months on from steering the club to ‘La Decima’ – his third Champions League success as manager – he was relieved of his duties and went on to take charge of Bayern last summer. While the Italian’s legacy as player and coach is secure, Zidane is currently building his in the latter category after establishing himself as one of the greatest midfielders of all time. The Frenchman bolstered his position with the notoriously fickle Real board by guiding them to the Champions League last year, joining Ancelotti and only five others to win the trophy as player and manager, less than six months after taking the reins.
Zidane has built on last year’s triumph by leading Real to the top of LaLiga, where they sit three points clear of nearest challengers Barcelona with a game in hand. They enter Wednesday’s fixture on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run although a six-match winning streak was ended over the weekend in a draw with city rivals Atletico. Bayern were unexpectedly challenged by RB Leipzig in the early stages of this season but have opened up a 10-point advantage in the Bundesliga, while they have looked in ominous form in recent weeks – not least in a 10-2 aggregate destruction of Arsenal in the previous round of Champions League matches.