For the first time in football history, two teams from the same city will face off for the Champions League crown. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have booked their tickets to Lisbon, and the entire Spanish capital is buzzing. With many records being broken this Champions League campaign, Atletico seems to be in the middle of it all.
Atletico Madrid adds another record to their history, as being the only outfit left that have not tasted defeat in the Champions League. This is the first for any club in the world. The league leaders in La Liga are full of confidence going into the final. After the first leg draw to Chelsea, many critics thought Atletico could not break down Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics. The Chelsea “Bus” was unbreakable. Atletico did give up a goal to their former star striker at the time Fernando Torres. Things seem to be going Chelsea’s way. But, right before the halftime whistle, Adrian caught a cross with his right boot from Juan Fran, and the equalizer was put in the back of the net. After Adrian’s goal, things slowly started to go downhill for Chelsea. After a penalty scored by Diego Costa, and a goal by Arda Turan, the defense started to suffocate the Chelsea attack. By the end of the match, Chelsea looked tired, and had a “This is impossible” look on their faces. This time, Chelsea couldn’t break down the Atletico defense. Atletico has won many neutral fan’s hearts. This is a squad with the lowest pay roll of the final four, and the least expensive players. A true Cinderella story.
The other team that will meet Atletico is their cross town bitter rivals Real Madrid. The complete opposite of Atletico Madrid. In football, nothing gets bigger than Real Madrid. The legends who have worn the white, the highest pay roll of the final four, and the most expensive players in the history of football wear the all-white kit. The majority of football fans agree that Real Madrid is the favorite. Los Blancos have finally reached a final since their last Champions League triumph of 2002, and they did it in dominating fashion. Bayern Munich, the defending champions started the 2nd leg with a one goal deficit, but some critics ignored that, and favored the Bavarians at the Allianz Arena. Bayern started fast, and looked to dictate the tempo of the game, but it all changed when a Luka Modric’s corner met Sergio Ramos’ head for the first goal. Shortly after that, another cross from Di Maria found Sergio Ramos for the 2nd goal. At this point, Bayern were down three goals, needing four to advance. Real Madrid were not done out playing the defending champs. Real Madrid’s two stars Gareth Bale, and Cristiano Ronaldo outnumbered Manuel Nuer on the counter attack, and made the scoreline 3-0. Ronaldo broke the Champions League record of Lionel Messi’s 14 goals in one campaign. But the reigning world player wasn’t done, he added a goal from the free kick taking his tally to 16 goals. The aggregate scoreline read 5-0, the biggest defeat Bayern Munich’s manager Pep Guardiola has ever received. Real Madrid go into the final in red hot form.
The counter attacking playing style of Real Madrid versus the tough defense of Atletico. These bitter rivals for so many years have played against each other, and have given us some of the best matches. This time, the greatest title in club football is on the line. Diego Simeone’s men will be looking for their first ever Champions League title, one title that can change Atletico Madrid from a great Spanish club, to a world class club, and complete this Cinderella run. Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid are looking for that prestigious 10th European title. The one title that has haunted Madrid fans since 2002. The title that will put Real Madrid in double digits in Champions League titles. Will it be a party for Cristiano Ronaldo in his home country, or will Atletico do the impossible and finish the Champions League undefeated as Champions? May 24th is the kick off date, and the world will be waiting.