Following a highly entertaining quarterfinal round, four teams remain in an original field of 32 as the UEFA Champions League now shifts to the semifinals. Thanks to strong performances in the two-legged final 8, Chelsea, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid and defending UCL champion Bayern Munich have moved into the ‘Final Four’ and after Friday’s semifinal draw was concluded, fans were finally given a look at the two match-ups set to lead into the championship contest. The first semifinal will match Real Madrid up against Bayern Munich while the second pits Atlético against Chelsea, contests that many followers of the prestigious tournament hoped for prior to the draw.

While the showdown between Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid side and 2012-2013 UCL winner Bayern will certainly be chock full of entertainment, the second contest between La Liga power Atlético Madrid and Barclays Premier League club Chelsea holds a unique storyline of its own. Due to the fact that 21-year-old Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois is currently on loan with Atlético, many were wondering how that unique situation would play out in the coming days. Even though a clause of €6 million was drawn up by the Blues that would essentially force Madrid to pay the fee should Courtois appear in goal, UEFA recently indicated the ruling to be unenforceable. Though loan players cannot go up against their parent teams in leagues such as the Premier League, there is no such restriction in the Champions League.

“In response to media reports referring to the situation of Club Atletico de Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, UEFA would like to reiterate its position,” UEFA’s statement concerning the ongoing situation between the UCL opponents read. “The integrity of sporting competition is a fundamental principle for UEFA. Both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations contain clear provisions which strictly forbid any club to exert, or attempt to exert, any influence whatsoever over the players that another club may or may not field in a match.

“It follows that any provision in a private contract between clubs which might function in such a way as to influence who a club fields in a match is null, void and unenforceable so far as UEFA is concerned. Furthermore, any attempt to enforce such a provision would be a clear violation of both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and would therefore be sanctioned accordingly.”

Real Ready to Shine?

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to deal with knee and thigh problems and while the 2013 Ballon d’Or Award winner may be forced out of the upcoming Copa del Rey final, CR7 should be ready for action -- if he misses any time at all -- once the semifinals begin in less than two weeks. Set to take on a loaded Bayern Munich squad that captured last season’s UCL crown and who are currently running away with the German Bundesliga, Los Blancos will surely have their work cut out for them but it’s not out of the question that Real Madrid can do enough in order to secure their place in the final for the first time since the 2001-2002 campaign.

2013-2014 UEFA Champions League Semifinal Schedule

First Leg -- Tuesday, April 22

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea

First Leg -- Wednesday, April 23

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich

Second Leg -- April 29 & 30

Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich, April 29

Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea, April 30


May 24 at Estádio da Luz