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Sunday 24th Sep 2017

FC Barcelona, the most popular soccer team in the world, known as Barca to its fans, was eliminated from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Championship Cup. I have a message for Barcelona supporters: the planet Earth will survive, but I understand how you feel.

Atletico Madrid accomplished the feat by beating Barcelona 2-0 at home after losing 1-2 in the away game. I must admit that I did not expect it, but without offending anyone, let’s be honest about it. The Neymar-Messi-Suarez trio did not play well.

In addition to Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich have reached the semifinals. I did not expect Real to do it. After having lost 2-0 to Wolfsburg in the first leg, I wrote “one should never dismiss Cristiano Rolando, and yet I am saying bye bye Real”. So true about Rolando. He came through, had a hat trick with two goals scored in less than two minutes apart, and helped Real overcome the first leg deficit. His performance was worthy of the Golden Shoe, the yearly European award.

In my last article about the UEFA cup, I pointed out that good teams know who they need and are not afraid to spend big bucks. I praised Manchester City for having acquired Kevin De Bruyne. Sure enough, his goal in the 76th minute propelled City to the UEFA semifinals for the first time in club history.

Bayern Munich is another team that is not timid in their approach to player acquisition. Two days after losing Bastian Schweinsteiger to Manchester United’s deep pockets, the club made an offer for Arturo Vidal that Juventus could not refuse. Vidal scored the winning goal in the first leg and the first of the two goals in Portugal that allowed his team to prevail. Today there are no regrets in Munich about money spent on Vidal.

Note that DraftKings features several leagues that are waiting for your lineups.

This is the schedule of the upcoming semifinals games. Suggestions for your DraftKings lineups are shown below the first leg matches.

First Leg

Tuesday April 26: Manchester City – Real Madrid

From MC, forwards Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne and defender Bacary Sagna. From RM, forward Cristiano Rolando and midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, plus most of Real Madrid defenders.

Wednesday April 27: Atletico Madrid – Bayern Munich

From Atletico, forward Antoine Greizman, who scored both goals against Barcelona and cannot be ignored. From BM, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, defender Phillip Lahm, midfielder Arturo Vidal and forward Thomas Muller.

Second Leg

Tuesday May 3: Bayern Munich - Atletico Madrid

Wednesday May 4: Real Madrid - Manchester City

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