Germany coach Joachim Low has said the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, with Bayern Munich playing Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund against Real Madrid, are a clash of ideologies, not just nations.
While the semi-finals will see the top two teams in both Spain and Germany go head-to-head, Low believes the last four clashes are also a test of the two different recruitment ideologies, shared by each semi-finalist.
Low says while Real, like Bayern, both have a reputation for signing top names, both Barcelona and Dortmund tend to fill their squad with players which have come up through the youth ranks and the semis will test both ideologies.
"Both clubs (in each semi-final) have different philosophies," Low told German newspaper Die Welt. "Real, for example, always place great importance on bringing the best names to the club. Barcelona have tried to fill 80 to 90 percent of their squad with home-grown players."
The Bayern-Barcelona tie pits this season's German and Spanish league winners against each other, while both Dortmund and Madrid are set to finish as runners-up in their respective leagues. "None of the teams involved can be discerned as the weaker club. It will come down to the fine details," said Low.