Ranking the UEFA Champions League semi-finalists

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign went down to its last four participants after a goal-laden quarterfinals which saw Borussia Dortmund knock out Atletico Madrid with a 5-4 aggregate result as Paris Saint-Germain dispatched Barcelona 6-4 on aggregate. Bayern Munich edged past Arsenal with a 3-2 aggregate result while Real Madrid needed a penalty shootout to knock out reigning champions Manchester City after a 4-4 aggregate result.

The semi-finals matchups saw Borussia Dortmund take on Paris Saint-Germain for the second time this campaign as both teams qualified from group F for the knockouts, while Bayern Munich and Real Madrid squared off in what was, as promised, a very exciting encounter.

In this article, we shall analyse the semifinalists and rank them according to their strengths.


Borussia Dortmund defied the expectations of many to finish on top of a very challenging group F which boasted the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, and Newcastle United. 

After losing 2-0 to PSG in their opening group stage match and playing out a goalless stalemate against AC Milan, consecutive victories without conceding against Newcastle signalled a change in fortunes for the German side.

A composed performance at San Siro against Milan saw BVB secure qualification into the round of 16 with a game to spare. Dortmund played a 1-1 draw with PSV in the first leg of their round of 16 tie before securing a 2-0 victory in the second leg to reach the quarterfinals despite having to withstand immense pressure from PSV.

Dortmund knocked out Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals, overturning a first-leg 2-1 deficit with a 4-2 win in the second leg on home turf culminating in a 5-4 aggregate result to seal a semi-final place.

When they build momentum, Borussia Dortmund become a force to be reckoned with. Despite stumbling in the first leg in Eindhoven and Madrid, the tremendous support of their home crowd has helped them come out on top on both occasions. BVB will be fancying their chances considering the way they have given a good account of themselves so far in the competition.

Dortmund are in the semifinals for the first time since 2012/13 when they beat Real Madrid who they had met in the group stage to reach the final at Wembley. On paper though, they seem like the weakest of all sides remaining in the competition.


PSG have reached the UEFA Champions League semifinals for the third time in five seasons. Les Parisiens finished second in Group F behind Dortmund despite being touted as the strongest team in the group. 

After winning their opening group stage match against Dortmund, the French champions suffered a humbling defeat at the hands of Newcastle United before bouncing back to winning ways against Milan at the Parc des Princes.

A 2-1 loss in the reverse fixture against AC Milan and two consecutive draws with Dortmund and Newcastle respectively was enough to see PSG secure a place in the knockouts where they dispatched Spanish side Real Sociedad in the round of 16 before overturning a first-leg 3-2 deficit with a 4-1 thrashing of Barcelona, eliminating the Blaugrana.

Les Parisiens will certainly be looking to their star man Kylian Mbappe for some inspiration going into this one. With one of the hottest properties in world football in their front line, PSG will be confident of their chances. They also have one of the most promising young midfield talents in Warren Zaire-Emery who looks to be maturing with pleasing consistency. PSG tickets are now selling fast ahead of the semis.

Thomas Tuchel and his Bayern Munich side will be desperate to progress beyond the semifinals, having lost their Bundesliga crown to Bayer Leverkusen after eleven years of dominance. The Bavarians have to go all the way in the Champions League if they are to avoid their first trophyless season since 2012.

Bayern were touted as favorites to qualify on top of group A which had the likes of Manchester United, Copenhagen, and Galatasaray in it. The Bundesliga giants didn’t disappoint as they had a near-perfect group stage campaign barring a 0-0 draw with Copenhagen, qualifying for the knockouts with a total of 16 points.

The first leg of their round of 16 tie ended in a 1-0 defeat against Lazio but the Germans cruised to a 3-0 victory in the second leg to overturn the first leg deficit and qualify for the quarterfinals where they narrowly edged out Arsenal with a 3-2 aggregate result.

Bayern make a first appearance in the Champions League semi-finals in four years and with Harry Kane’s deadly efficiency now in their arsenal, to complement the star-studded squad, the Bavarians will be hopeful that they can round off what has been a very difficult campaign in style by clinching European football’s biggest prize.


Perennial winners Real Madrid have become massive favourites to go on and claim a record 15th UEFA Champions League crown after knocking out Manchester City who many believed to be overwhelming favorites.

Los Blancos were pitted against Napoli, Braga, and Union Berlin in group C and the Spanish giants went on to have a flawless group stage campaign, winning all six of their matches to finish on top of the group and seal a place in the knockouts.

The round of 16 and quarterfinal matches against RB Leipzig and Manchester City respectively were full of nerve-wracking and intense moments for the Madrid faithful as Los Blancos needed some outstanding saves from their goalkeeper Andriy Lunin to thwart their opponents throughout both knockout rounds, especially in the penalty shootout victory in Manchester.

However, Real Madrid cannot be written off when it comes to the Champions League as they have shown on multiple occasions, an immense hunger and desire to claim the European crown. Los Blancos also boast the likes of Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Jude Bellingham, and Toni Kroos, who can prove decisive at any moment in a game.