Spain dreams of all-Madrid Champions final
Spain dreamed Wednesday of an unprecedented Madrid derby final to the Champions League, as the nation's sporting press gloated over Real Madrid's demolition of the mighty Bayern Munich.
"Worst thrashing in history!" boasted the front-page of Spain's biggest selling sports daily Marca after Real Madrid wreaked havoc in Munich with a 4-0 away leg win delivering a 5-0 aggregate crushing of Bayern.
Many papers recalled Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's pre-match warning to Real Madrid that the German ground would be an "inferno" and "Munich will burn".
"Rummenigge was right. Munich burned," ran the front-page headline of Madrid-based sports daily AS after Pep Guardiola's Bayern suffered their heaviest home defeat in European competition.
"What a night! The best Madrid I can remember in Europe, a night to banish once and for all the phantom of Bayern, to wipe away all the bad times suffered before the Bavarian giants," said AS football analyst Alfredo Relano.
Real are now one game away from their longed-for, yet elusive "La Decima" -- their 10th European title.
If Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid can now prevail over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in London, they would face Real Madrid on May 24 in Lisbon.
It would be Atletico's first European championship final in 40 years, the first chance to regain the title since May 1974 when they lost to Bayern Munich.
"You can do it Atleti!" Marca blared on its front page.
"Come on Atleti!" echoed Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo.
Mundo Deportivo football writer J. G. Gomara said his father, who was aged 13 at the time, never tired of regaling his family with his memories of the Atletico Madrid-Bayern Munich final.
"Well, 40 years have gone by and the red-and-whites are just one step away from having the chance to avenge my father's memories and those of many of you," Gomara wrote.
"They are just one step away but it is a big one," he said, warning that the Madrid side will have to overcome Mourinho's defensive wall. "If Atletico want to be in Lisbon they will have to sweat blood to do it."