In appreciation of the CL semifinals

Champions League provides many enduring moments -- though all before the final

Updated: April 20, 2012, 6:58 AM ET
By Michael Cox | Special to ESPN.com

It might not fit with the entrenched idea that international football is the highest standard of the sport, and it certainly doesn't tally with the format of a knockout competition. But it remains true -- Champions League semifinals are the pinnacle of modern football. It's at that stage, far more than the final, that we get the best moments, the biggest drama and the most symbolic stories.

It's hardly controversial to say club football has overtaken international football -- this ...

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