Champions League semifinals begin with another Madrid derby

Ronaldo leads charge into UCL semis

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo.

The pair meet again in this season's edition, though thankfully for Diego Simeone and his team, at the semi-final stage. "They are reliable and it is a fascinating competition".

Not content with stealing the headlines in the quarter-final win over Bayern Munich, Cristiano Ronaldo hit a second successive Champions League hat-trick to sink Atletico. "We're not thinking about the return leg yet, just tomorrow for now". We are well physically and mentally prepared. We are also ready from the mindset point of view.

Zidane's side needed a last gasp victor from left-back Marcelo to beat Valencia on Sunday as they chase the domestic title and the coach said: "It was a feeling I had about anxiety and stress".

Gareth Bale and central defender Pepe are Real's only injury absentees.

In 2014, Atletico lead for much of the 90 minutes in the final, but were beaten 4-1 after extra-time.

"It still makes my hairs stand up", Isco said.

"I played with the Brazilian Ronaldo, who was also an extraordinary player who scored a lot of goals".

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When the balls were rolled in Nyon last month for the quarterfinal draw, most people were already looking to another Madrid derby final but the balls failed to produce that scenario.

Zidane has looked like a veteran, successfully getting the most out of his players at the most hard moments. "In those moments I was in my own world, I only remember that when Cristiano (Ronaldo) scored the winning goal we ran to embrace him and it's a moment that I'll never forget".

Ronaldo, the top scorer in the history of the Champions League with 103 goals, loves the big occasion.

Real, an 11-time victor, is looking to become the first team to defend the Champions League title since the competition changed to the current format in 1992.

"Atletico has been playing very well in the last four or five years and it's only getting better", Zidane says.

Simeone has a serious problem at right-back, with specialists Sime Vrsaljko and Juanfran Torres injured and stand-in Jose Maria Gimenez twanging a hamstring in Saturday's 5-0 La Liga win at Las Palmas.

Winger Yannick Carrasco hurt his collarbone in Tuesday's 1-0 home defeat by Villarreal, Atleti's first loss in 13 games in all competitions, although the Belgian returned to full training on Sunday to boost his chances of facing Real Madrid.

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