Excitement is up in the air as the 2017 Champions League quarterfinal ties have been drawn.
Each showdown is of course mouth-watering but among them, the Real Madrid-Bayern Munich encounter is drawing massive attention.
This is a battle with a magnitude similar to two giant stars on collision course, or two Titans out to outslug each other.
Yes, this is only the quarterfinals and yet, it feels like we are already in the final, with due respect to the other ties, when the multi-titled Spanish club cross paths with the German champions.
Real are out to retain the crown in Europe’s most prestigious club tournament, but in this stage, a major obstacle in the form of Bayern Munich is looming in their way.
Both clubs have a combined 16 titles and a proud tradition of winning.
Under manager Zinedine Zidane’s wit on the bench and main man Cristiano Ronaldo’s inspiration on the pitch, Real Madrid appear bent to lift the trophy again.
Bayern, although enduring a rough start in the season, are back in the thick of things behind Carlo Ancelotti’s stewardship and an array of star players, among them Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller.
In their head-to-head meetings over 22 matches, Bayern won 11, while Real won 9, with two draws spicing up the proceedings.
However, Real are owners of a record 11 titles, clinching last year’s crown over fellow Spanish side and city rivals Atletico Madrid, whilst Bayern have five under their belt, winning their last title in 2013 at the expense of Bundesliga nemesis Borussia Dortmund.
This year’s confrontation could be the tie to watch, not only of because of their respective players, but this could turn out to be a Zidane-Ancelotti battle of the wits from the bench.
Ancelotti formerly coached Real Madrid before his former assistant Zidane replaced him so brace yourselves for added spark when the latter try to steal the show from his predecessor.
Bayern host the first leg of the tie on April 13 at the Allianz Arena, before Real Madrid welcome the Germans for the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on April 19.
Who will draw first blood?