In a highly anticipated matchup between two extremely talented clubs, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will meet on Saturday, May 25 for the 2013 UEFA Champions League title. The match marks the first time that two German squads will meet for a European championship.
Each club needed to take down two legendary franchises in order to advance to Saturday's final, and both did so in impressive fashion.
Dortmund dominated Real Madrid in the opening leg of their semifinal series, out-hustling the nine-time champion throughout the match on their way to a convincing 4-1 victory. Riding a historic performance by superstar Robert Lewandowski, the issue was never in doubt.
Lewandowski scored a semifinal-record four times, notching goals at the 8, 50, 55 and 66-minute marks, pacing Dortmund to a convincing win over a talented Madrid squad. Lewandowski and Dortmund would drop the second leg of the semi 2-0, but advanced on the strength of a 4-3 aggregate.
As his squad looks to win their first title since 1997, the 24-year-old superstar knows Dortmund will need a perfect effort if they're to take down their German rivals.
"For me and my team it is the first time in such a final and we have to prepare well for it," Lewandowski said to reporters following the semifinal performance.
While Dortmund ended Real Madrid's hopes for a record 10th title, Bayern Munich looked virtually unstoppable in the semifinal series with football powerhouse Barcelona. Playing consistently strong for two-consecutive games, Munich looked like the best team in the league as they completely dismantled Barca.
Thomas Muller was the opening leg hero, guiding the Munich onslaught with two goals at the 25 and 82-minute marks. Sandwiched between the 23-year-old's tallies were goals from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben. With slightly over eight minutes remaining in the match, Munich was up 4-0, leaving Barcelona shocked with the way they'd been dominated from start to finish.
Munich outshot the 2011 League champions 9-2 in the match while controlling the tempo of the game, never allowing the explosive Barca offense to flex its muscles.
It was more of the same for Barcelona in leg No. 2 as Bayern Munich once again raced out to an early advantage thanks to a goal from Robben at the 49-minute mark.
In something of a defensive stalemate, Munich was able to fend off nine Barca shot attempts and padded their lead in the 72nd minute with a tally from 26-year-old defender Gerard Pique.
Ending the match with a 3-0 victory, Bayern Munich advanced past Barcelona by way of a 7-0 aggregate, a performance their star player would love to see repeated in the final.
"I think it is a terrific performance, it is a little bit of history," Arjen Robben said to TSN. "If we perform like this, against a team who have dominated Europe for the past five years, who have so much quality, it is amazing."
The 2013 UEFA Champions League final should not disappoint as two teams from the same country will meet in the final for only the third time in history.
Set to begin on Saturday, May 25 at 2:45pm, EDT from London's Wembley Stadium, Dortmund and Munich will provide plenty of theatrics in a match that will be a fitting end to another outstanding Champions League season.