The road to Berlin is almost over. Only two games remain for four teams with Champions League trophy aspirations. One of them is Barcelona, back to the semifinal stage after a few disappointments in the last few editions. Unlike other instances, Barça is a clear favorite to win it all, as the healthiest and most in-form side going into the semifinals.
On Friday, UEFA will draw the two semifinal matches, to be played at the beginning of next month. All four candidates are worthy of being here, but which of the other three would be the best opponent for Barcelona?
Facing Real Madrid would bring back some good memories. The last time these two teams faced each other in European competition, in the 2010/2011 season, the Blaugrana came out on top after a thrilling tie. A historical performance by Lionel Messi at Santiago Bernabéu gave the Catalans, still coached by Pep Guardiola at the time, a 2-0 advantage. At Camp Nou, the next week, Barça did enough to book a place in the UCL final, which they ultimately won with a spectacular victory over Manchester United. Those were good times.
Speaking of Pep Guardiola, he could return to Camp Nou if Barça and Bayern Munich are pinned together. In his second season in Germany, the legendary manager reinvented the way they play football, using all the principals he introduced at Barça while adapting to the best skills of a fantastic roster. Of course, Bayern tortured Barça when these teams last met at the Champions League stage, and the 7-0 aggregate score from 2013 is still a bitter memory. Which would be totally wiped out if the Blaugrana avenge those losses in style. The style Guardiola implemented. What a tie would that be.
If Barça isn't drawn with Bayern or Madrid, that just leaves Juventus, the Ultimate Italian Warriors. The most surprising of the four semifinalists, the team led by Barcelona target Paul Pogba and football legend Andrea Pirlo has finally made an impact outside of Italy, where they reign supreme. They traveled a tough road to get here, and they are proven competitors with a defensive intensity that is almost unmatched.
All three possibilities would make for two wonderful legs, and the Blaugrana have proven that they can beat anyone. So what would you rather do in the semifinal stage? Win another European Clásico? Beat Guardiola at his own game? Or show Pogba what he can do if he joins the team that will defeat him? Cast your ballots!