Real Madrid are defending the trophy in the 2016-17 Champions League and will continue their quest for a 12th European crown when they meet their local rivals Atletico, whom they have beaten in two of the last three finals, in the last four.
Los Blancos are four ahead of AC Milan on the list of most prolific European champions having triumphed on penalties last season in the San Siro after a 1-1 draw, Cristiano Ronaldo netting the decisive spot-kick as Real inflicted Champions League Final heartbreak on Atletico just as they had in 2014.
That 2016 loss was all the more galling for Diego Simeone’s side because they had knocked out favourites Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the two previous rounds, but so far this term Atletico have received a more favourable draw in the knockout stage as they followed their 4-2 aggregate victory over German side Bayer Leverkusen by winning 2-1 against Leicester City.
Real are having to take a more difficult route to the final in Cardiff on June 3, where Wales international forward Gareth Bale will hope to lift the trophy in his home city.
After beating Napoli in the last 16, Real took on Bayern Munich as their coach Zinedine Zidane went head-to-head with Carlo Ancelotti to whom he was previously the assistant at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second-leg match against Bayern Munich on April 18 2017 (Getty Images)
And it was the ‘apprentice’ who got the better of the ‘master’ as Real went through in extra time, prevailing 6-3 on aggregate at the end of a tie that was greatly influenced by refereeing decisions which largely went against Bayern Munich, including a red card both at home and away.
In the other semi-final, Monaco will face Juventus, who hope to reach a second final in three seasons after taking revenge for their 2015 defeat against Barcelona by beating the Catalan giants 3-0 on aggregate in the last eight.
Monaco, meanwhile, have been the surprise package in the competition and owe their place in the semi-finals to some exhilarating attacking play as forwards Radamel Falcao and Kylian Mbappe – the breakthrough performer of this season’s Champions League - have shone in their victories over Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund.