The last thing Real Madrid wanted was another Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich not least since they will need to get the better of a familiar foe who appears to have their number.
Pep Guardiola, who takes Bayern into the first leg at Santiago Bernabeu tonight, was appointed coach of the German champions at the end of last season after taking a year out to recover from a trophy-laden but draining four years in charge of Real's arch-rivals Barcelona.
His coaching record against Real was an impressive nine wins, four draws and two defeats, while as a player in 14 league meetings he won six, drew five and lost only three.
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"Every time I have gone to the Bernabeu, as a player and as a coach, I have never in my head gone there as the favourite," Guardiola said.
"I have too much respect for them. Madrid deserve a lot of respect for all their history. They are always a strong team because they have a lot behind them: great players, fans and a great history."
Guardiola conceded that his players had gone off the boil in the Bundesliga since winning the title last month. Real, fresh from beating Barca in Wednesday's Copa del Rey final and still in the fight for the league, may have an edge.
"Yes Madrid have a certain advantage in that respect," admitted Guardiola.
"Madrid's enthusiasm will be greater than ours right now after winning the cup final but we will try to be competitive at the Bernabeu."