Champions League 2012: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Bayern Munich Represent a Proud Class

The final four is set.

It's that time of the year when the top four Europeans clubs meet with the goal of hoisting the illustrious Champions League cup.

After the long journey among the 32 teams it boils down to just four clubs, and each of them are prominent: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Bayern Munich.

But this time a round there has been an inclusion which a very few would have predicted.

Chelsea have struggled in the Premier League, but have exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals of Champions League. With all the talk of Barcelona being the favorites, Chelsea are not going to simply bow to the favorites -- the Blues have an uphill task, but still have plenty of talent to pressure the Catalans.

In the other semi-final, Real Madrid has set a date with German powerhouse Bayern Munich. The match poses a unique challenge for manager Jose Mourinho. He will have to defeat a club with a different style from his La Liga competition, and then will either face his former club, Chelsea, or nemesis Barcelona, in the final.

Managers, though, will likely play less of a role than the fitness of the squads. The Premier League, Bundesliga, and La Liga, are probably the three most demanding league in the world.

The club with the most endurance will likely be crowned champions.

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