The 3 Biggest Questions Ahead of Each Champions League Matchup This Week

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The 3 Biggest Questions Ahead of Each Champions League Matchup This Week
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

As the Champions League campaign nears to a close for another season, there are only four teams from two nations in the hunt for club football's most coveted prize.

The prize money is lucrative, the label of being 'Champions of Europe' truly humbling and to win a Champions League medal highlights the absolute pinnacle of a player's career. There have been recent surprises; Porto (2004 winners), Liverpool (2005) and current holders Chelsea all providing miraculous stories of their journey to success.

For teams such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are both so acquainted with the idea of success, failure to triumph in the competition resembles almost a failure in their season. With that in consideration, it is far from a difficult task to motivate the players to win the trophy.

The fixtures are fast approaching, building up the eager anticipation of neutrals and supporters from all over the globe, with some exciting clashes in the offing. With all due respect to previous semi-finalists, it finally feels like the remaining teams represent what the competition is about.

Bayern Munich were finalists in the competition last year and have just won the 2012-13 Bundesliga title, while their rivals Borussia Dortmund had won the domestic league for two consecutive seasons before falling short of the relentless Bavarian side.

Barcelona have been dominant in the Champions League in recent times, winning in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and were agonizingly close to becoming finalists in both 2010 and 2012. Real Madrid have long been in the shadow of the Catalan giants but under the reign of Jose Mourinho, they have tasted success once again, and the Portuguese coach has the record of winning three Champions League titles with different teams firmly in his sights.

Ahead of the crunch encounters, we look at what should be asked about the four semi-finalists ahead of a crucial week, with Bayern Munich chasing a historic treble. 

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