Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: A remarkable rivalry in stats

Bayern's Robert Lewandowski and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo are two key men ahead of the much-anticipated semifinal.
Updated 25 April 2018

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: A remarkable rivalry in stats

  • The two European greats have won the Champions League 17 times.
  • Real Madrid start as the slight favorites ahead of Wednesday's semifinal first leg.

LONDON: Bayern Munich’s Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid is a clash of European football royalty. Ahead of Wednesday’s first leg at the Allianz Arena, here are five facts about the remarkable rivalry...

1. This is the 25th time the clubs have met in European competition and both have 11 wins with two draws.
Real have scored 37 goals to Bayern’s 36.
This is the seventh time the clubs have met in the semifinals, the Germans lead 4-2 in the series.

2. Real have however had the upper hand in recent years, winning all of the last five meetings, scoring 13 goals and conceding four.
That includes Bayern’s record home defeat in Europe — a 4-0 thrashing in the 2014 semifinals, when Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored twice.
This is Madrid’s record eighth successive Champions League semifinal, while Bayern are in the last four for the seventh time in nine seasons.

3. Ronaldo has an incredible record against Bayern, netting five times over the two legs in last season’s 6-3 aggregate win in the quarterfinals.
In total, he has scored nine goals in six games against the German side.
This season, Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six group games on his way to a tally of 15 goals.
He can break his own record for the most goals in a Champions League season — 17 in 2013/14.

4. Bayern’s current manager Jupp Heynckes has a foot in each camp. The 72-year-old has reached the Champions League final in each of his three previous campaigns as coach of either Bayern or Real.
Under Heynckes, Bayern won the 2013 final at Wembley when Arjen Robben’s winner sealed a 2-1 win over Dortmund on their way to the treble.
The Bavarians also reached the 2012 final, losing in Munich to Chelsea on penalties having beaten Real, also on spot-kicks, in the semis.
Heynckes also steered Real to the 1997-1998 title, during his single season in Madrid, beating Juventus 1-0 in the Amsterdam final to end a 32-year drought for the Spanish giants. It was the first time Madrid had won the European Cup since 1966.

5. Zinedine Zidane has a phenomenal Champions League record. Real winning 21 of his 30 games in Europe over three seasons with five draws and four defeats.
Real lifted the trophy in each of his three previous seasons as either head coach or assistant.
He was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant in 2013/14 when they won the European title for the tenth time.
He succeeded Rafael Benitez as head coach in January 2016, then Real beat Juventus in the Turin final.
They also won last season’s final in Cardiff when Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win over Juventus.


Saudi Arabia celebrates 20th year of first Olympic medal win

Updated 28 September 2020

Saudi Arabia celebrates 20th year of first Olympic medal win

  • Hadi Souan scooped silver in Sydney at 29; athlete says success was for whole nation

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first Olympic medal win 20 years ago inspired a generation of athletes and was a catalyst for the development of sport, according to the president of the Kingdom’s Olympic committee.

Hadi Souan won silver in the 400m hurdles at the Sydney Games in 2000.

The accomplishment was one of many in a long and successful journey for the athlete, who became a board member of the Saudi Arabian Athletics Federation (SAAF), the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC) Assembly, a member of the Olympic Council of Asia Athlete Commission, sports and events manager at Qiddiya Investment Company, a member of the Saudi Sports Arbitration Center, and a member of the SAOC’s International Relations Committee.

“Today we celebrate Souan’s achievement, which inspired a generation of Saudi athletes and was a catalyst for the development of sport in the Kingdom,” said the SAOC’s president, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. “It gives me great pleasure to see sport thriving in Saudi Arabia. We are committed to ensuring that this trend continues and that the Kingdom’s next generation enjoys the benefits of participating in sport, both in Saudi Arabia and at major global sporting events.”

Souan started out as a footballer but took up athletics in PE class, winning second place in a school championship. He qualified to compete at the Kingdom level and went on to become a national team member in less than a year.

He started with the high jump, then decathlon and finally found himself taking on the 400m hurdles.

He trained under Egyptian coach Mohammed Thu Alfaqqar from 1991, under the Americans until 1994, and under 1968 Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans. But the best place Souan remembers training at was UCLA.

“It is a sport and artistic society indeed,” he said. “We spoke, ate, slept, and even relaxed for sport. These little things and the different sleeping habits here and there made me suffer a bit when I came back from the States, but we got used to it and I knew it made a difference in my lifestyle and mentality-wise.”

Souan also trained the European way in Paris under a Russian coach and France’s Amadou Dia Ba. “Hence I started to learn the difference between European and American schools,” he added. The US schools concentrated on endurance, while the French focused on speed.

He was grateful for the exposure to different cultures while training abroad with elite athletes, especially at a time when there was limited social awareness about the importance of sport.

“When I started training with US 400m hurdler Kevin Young, who clocked an Olympic record of 46.78 seconds at the 1992 Barcelona Games and which remains unbeaten until now, I felt that I could do what he is doing. I only need to be determined, disciplined, and committed and everything from there started to become imaginable. I started to see myself winning and when the time came and toward the end of the race I knew I was getting there but I wasn’t first. First place went to American Angelo Taylor who won in 47.50 seconds, while I did 47.53.”

He remembers the winning moment and never expected how the country would react to his achievement. It was overwhelming. 

He modestly said it was not his success alone, that it was a success for the whole nation and all of his team headed by the former SAAF president Prince Nawaf bin Mohammed, agent Emanuel Hudson, and coach John Smith. They all worked hard to create the right environment for him to deliver the medals.

“We were welcomed by the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, by the former president of General Presidency of Youth Welfare Prince Sultan bin Fahd, and everyone was happy and proud of what we did. I knew then that what I was fortunate to do was not simple at all and, luckily, was appreciated. I believe everyone started to look up for Saudis in athletics and watch out for similar future talents.”

The beauty of sport, he added, was its spirit and the values that were learned and developed through years of training, competing, winning and losing. 

“Although Taylor won first place we all, as a sports community, remain friends and also competed afterwards in several matches where he again took first place and I came second again. He came from a distance running race which allowed him to master his skills at the end of the 400m hurdles events, his approach was and still is just amazing.”

Souan won the silver medal aged 29 at his second Olympic appearance, in what he felt was perfect timing as he might not have been as successful at subsequent Games.

“Usually when you get to taste that level of achievement on a global scale you want more, but I knew that it was time to give back now and help my teammate and younger generations taste it at an early age.”

That’s how I got involved in the athletics federation and the Sports Ministry afterwards.”

He said that it did not matter how someone was built, as long as they had the willpower to work on their body and skills in order to become the best they could be in the sport that they liked. He added that parents had greater awareness, as did athletes, and wished that more Saudis could do what he could not.

Although Souan retired as an athlete at the age of 34, after competing in the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar, he was and still is a role model who keeps giving back to his country. Because of his passion for sports he was a physical education teacher and then supervisor at the Ministry of Education. 

“I always felt responsible to keep my record clean because I’ve seen how parents and students used to look up to me so, as an Olympian, I wanted to give a good example.”

In addition to the Olympic silver medal he won, with an Asian record of 47.53 seconds, Souan counts the 2001 Goodwill Games hurdles silver from Brisbane as his most prized possession. 

All told Souan has won 40 gold medals including one from the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.