Spring arrived late in Europe, but it came in time to make the night more bearable for the thousands of Borussia Dortmund fans queuing for tickets to see the Uefa Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid next week.
Fellow semi-finalists Bayern Munich stated that they had 200,000 applications for their home semi-final against Barcelona, also next week. Barca and Madrid dampened their own demand by charging over €300 (Dh1,435) for the best seats in the main stand, with average ticket prices well over €100. Those who go to every game will be rewarded with much lower prices, though some will be tempted to sell their tickets on the black market, where prices are already above €500.
If the Spain-Germany semi-finals are eagerly anticipated, then what could follow will be on another level: a first European Cup final between Barca and Madrid.
They are the biggest two clubs in world football by revenue, though they would rather be known for what they do on the pitch. Madrid have won a record nine European Cups, Barca four.
Clasicos occur too frequently and each is surrounded by anger, vitriol and ridiculous conjecture. That would ratchet up a level if they meet in the final.
The pair have come close to meeting in European Cup finals before and have met several times at the semi-final stage, most recently in 2002 when Madrid triumphed and 2011 when it was Barca's turn. Both went on to win the competition.
But, first, the semi-finals.
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