Bayern Munich take on holders Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Uefa Champions League as the two European superpowers bid to reach next month's final in Kiev.
One topic of conversation surrounds the availability of James Rodriguez. The Colombian playmaker is on a two-year loan at Bayern from Real Madrid where he has just helped Jupp Heynckes' side win a sixth straight Bundesliga shield, supplying six goals.
While loan deals typically prevent player's facing their parent clubs when in direct domestic competition, no such stipulations exist under Uefa-sanctioned tournaments, meaning James is free to face Real, with the first leg at Bayern's Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Those regulations were reiterated in April 2014 following controversy over the availability of Thibaut Courtois – then on loan at Atletico Madrid – to play against his parent club Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals. The Belgian goalkeeper played both home and away legs as Chelsea were eliminated 3-1 on aggregate.
Our Uefa Champions League coverage
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John McAuley: Why Liverpool will go on to win the title
Steve Luckings: Why Roma will go on to win the title
Graham Caygill: Why Madrid will go on to win title
A statement from Uefa said: “Both the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Disciplinary Regulations contain clear provisions which strictly forbid any club to exert, or attempt to exert, any influence whatsoever over the players that another club may [or may not] field in a match.
“It follows that any provision in a private contract between clubs which might function in such a way as to influence who a club fields in a match is null, void and unenforceable so far as Uefa is concerned.
“Furthermore, any attempt to enforce such a provision would be a clear violation of both the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa Disciplinary Regulations and would therefore be sanctioned accordingly.”