Following an underwhelming Round of 16, fans around the globe were preparing themselves for another round of low-scoring fixtures. However, the quarterfinals were anything but lackluster. There were plenty of goals, including a back-and-forth 5-4 thriller between Borussia Dortmund and Atlético Madrid. While the quarterfinals were great, every Champions League enthusiast knows the semifinal round is when the competition is at its best.

In just the past five years, we’ve seen three legendary comebacks at this stage of the tournament. In 2019, Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner taken quickly and Lucas Moura’s hattrick turned certain defeats into improbable victories. Then, in 2022, super-sub Rodrygo scored a brace to miraculously send the game to extra time. It set up a Karim Benzema panenka to turn the tie around before Manchester City knew what hit them. If the quarterfinals were a foreshadowing of what’s to come, this year’s semifinals will be a must-watch.

Borussia Dortmund vs. PSG

Why Borussia Dortmund Could Win:

Borussia Dortmund have defied the odds to make it to this stage. Despite an underwhelming league campaign, Edin Terzic’s side has made it to the semifinal stage for the first time since 2013. After topping the group of death, Dortmund have dealt with every challenge this competition has thrown their way. They left it late against Atlético Madrid, but they will be riding high going into their game against PSG.

Like the many teams before them, this Dortmund team is super young. Out of all the remaining teams, they have the least expectations. Their youth also allows them to play with a super high intensity. They’ll look to press high up the pitch and counterattack with lightning speed. If they can force PSG’s backline into mistakes, Dortmund’s young guns could run up the score in a hurry.


Dortmund’s home atmosphere is unmatched. Their yellow wall is intimidating for the most experienced players and Dortmund has been able to use it to their advantage. Against PSV and Atlético Madrid, they rode big home wins in both ties.

Why PSG Could Win:

After years of falling just short, there is something different about this year’s PSG squad. In Luis Enrique’s first season, he revamped a team that lost Lionel Messi and Neymar. Their new front three of Kylian Mbappé, Ousmane Dembele and Bradley Barcola leave even the quickest defenses in the dust. Their midfield is young, but Warren Zaire-Emery and Vitinha play way beyond their years.

With both teams featuring in Group F, PSG and Dortmund have already played each other home and away this season. PSG came away with a win and a draw and looked the better team in both games. Dortmund have improved, and Terzic will likely make adjustments, but PSG looked a step ahead earlier in the season.

Kylian Mbappé courtesy of Flickr


As of now, Kylian Mbappé is the best player in the world. The 24-year-old forward can score on a moment’s notice, and Dortmund doesn’t possess a player of anywhere near the same quality. This is his moment, and his name will feature on the scoresheet at some point.


4-2 PSG on aggregate

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid

Why Bayern Munich Could Win:

With their 11-year league title run coming to an end, the Bavarians will be extra motivated not to go trophyless this season. Their defense, a glaring weakness earlier this season, has looked much improved with the addition of Eric Dier. The starting XI is littered with experience, and many pieces from their 2020 Champions League-winning team are still here.

Chances will be hard to come by against Los Blancos, but Bayern Munich possesses an elite forward group. Striker Harry Kane leads the line for the Bavarians. A complete forward, Kane can score, playmaker and hold up play at a world-class level. He’s flanked by the electric duo Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane. Look for Kane to play through balls and switch passes to his wingers to try and catch Real Madrid out of position.


While Real Madrid will be missing Thibaut Courtois, Bayern Munich can rely on the legendary Manuel Neuer between the sticks. The Bavarians will need him at his best. Neuer’s timely sweeps can neutralize the pace of the magical Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

Why Real Madrid Could Win:

After going out without much of a fight at this stage last year, this has been a classic revenge tour season from Los Blancos. They’ve lost to just one team all season and eliminated reigning champions Manchester City in the quarterfinals. Joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, Jude Bellingham has thrived under the pressure of the iconic #5 shirt. He filled the void left by the departing Karim Benzema and then some.

Carlo Ancelotti gives his players the tactical flexibility and fluidity to showcase their world-class ability. With this freedom, Los Blancos can create chances in thin air and run up the score. However, against Manchester City, they showed they can also be super organized defensively. They’re capable of sitting deep and disrupting the best teams in the world.


The favorite to win the competition every year, Real Madrid possesses an aura while playing in the Champions League. Their pedigree that comes with being 14-time European Champions is unmatched. Despite transitioning to a younger core of players in recent years, Ancelotti’s boys play with the same swagger as teams of the past.


3-2 Real Madrid on aggregate