Why Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid is the best rivalry in Champions League history
Bayern and Real Madrid are two of the four biggest clubs in the world by any measure and have been for decades. They’re also two of the three or four best teams in the world right now, as they seem to be every year. That alone makes Bayern-Real such a mouthwatering tie, but there’s more to it than that.
This is the best rivalry in Champions League history.
No teams are more consistently great than Real Madrid and Bayern
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are arguably the two best teams in the history of the competition. Real are on top with their record 11 Champions League/European Cup titles. Bayern’s five titles are tied for third all-time with Liverpool and Barcelona, two behind AC Milan’s seven, but it’s their consistency that stands out.
Bayern have made at least the quarterfinals 28 times, second only to Real’s 34. Barcelona are third with 19 appearances in the final eight, while Milan have 15 and Liverpool 13. Bayern have also made five straight semifinals. Real have made six straight. Milan hasn’t made a UCL semi in 10 years.
If there was a ‘European Clasico’ it would be Bayern vs Real
No fixture has been played more often in the Champions League or European Cup than this one. Wednesday’s game will be the 23rd meeting, and the 21st in the knockout stage. This season marks the eight time (killing time origin) in the last 18 years they’ve drawn each other in Europe. And you thought Arsenal vs Bayern was a lock every year.
It’s always a toss-up
The rivalry has always been incredibly even. Bayern narrowly lead the all-time series with 11 wins to Real’s nine, while there have only ever been two draws. And of the previous ten knockout stage ties, each club has won five.They’re routinely each other’s biggest test
This may be the most telling stat: the winner of Bayern vs Real has gone on to reach the final in seven of the previous ten ties, and won it all five times. If you believe in numbers, there’s a 50-50 chance one of these two will lift the cup in Cardiff.
The European Cup era