For the second time in UEFA Champions League history, Real Madrid will face off against Atletico Madrid in an all-Madrid final. These two teams played each other in the 2013-14 UCL final, which fell in favour of the favourites Real 4-1 at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon.
Things are shaping differently sort of final this year. Atletico saw off German giants Bayern Munich in the semi-finals, creeping through on a crucial away goal scored by Antoine Griezmann. Real overcame Manchester City with just one goal scored over both matches. Gareth Bale hit the roof of the net in Game 2, however some argue that it was an own goal from City’s Fernando. Either way, Real Madrid advanced.
Atletico Madrid key player: Antoine Griezmann
Frenchman Griezmann began his career at Real Sociedad, making his debut in 2009 and winning Segunda División in his first season. In 2014, he transferred to Atlético Madrid for €30 million. Griezmann, now aged 25, has scored over 75 La Liga goals in his career, including the decisive – and only – goal against FC Bayern.
Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer in the UEFA Championship (including qualifying) with 23 goals, including a famous hat-trick against Wolfsburg to send his club into the Champions League semi-finals despite being 2–0 down after the first leg.
Diego Simeone, manager of Atletico Madrid, has done seriously good things for the club. He won the 2013-14 La Liga title, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, as well as reaching two UCL finals in only four years with the club. Real Madrid’s manager is club legend and football idol Zinedine Zidane. After retirement, Zidane became assistant coach at Real under Carlo Ancelotti for the 2013–14 season. Following a successful year, in which the club won the UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey, Zidane became the coach of Real’s B team, Real Madrid Castilla.
In early 2016, it was announced that Zidane would be appointed head coach of the first-grade side following the dismissal of Rafa Benitez. His debut was five days later, when Madrid beat Deportivo La Coruña 5-0. The all-Madrid final is sure to be one heck of a fixture. Good luck to both sides!