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Big Match Feature: Real v Atletico

May 23, 2014 8:11 AM
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The Uefa Champions League final will take on a new dimension as Real Madrid take on Atletico Madrid in Lisbon – the first showpiece between teams from the same city in the 59-year history of the European Cup.

This is the fifth one-country Champions League final and, having come out on top in the first 14 years ago, Madrid have cause for optimism as they seek their tenth European crown. In contrast, this is only Atletico's second European Cup final appearance yet, as the last unbeaten side in this season's competition, there is no danger of them being underestimated at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.

Atletico's sole previous European Cup final came at the Heysel Stadium, against Bayern Munich in 1973/74. Luis Aragonés's 114th-minute free-kick gave them a 1-0 lead, but Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck equalised in the last minute and Bayern prevailed 4-0 in the replay at the same venue two days later.

Should they triumph in Lisbon, Atletico would become the 23rd club to lift the European Cup and the first new name since Chelsea's 2012 triumph in Munich.

Both clubs boast players who have already played in – and won –Champions League finals. David Villa scored Barcelona's final goal in their 3-1 victory against Manchester United in the 2011 showpiece at Wembley, while Cristiano Ronaldo got United's goal in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea in Moscow three years earlier. The Portuguese was denied in the penalty shoot-out, but United still prevailed 6-5. Iker Casillas appeared in Madrid's 2000 and – as a substitute – 2002 final victories.

This is Madrid's 25th Uefa final. In addition to their 12 European Cup appearances, they were Uefa Cup winners in 1985 and 1986 and European Cup Winners' Cup runners-up in 1971 and 1983. They lifted the Uefa Super Cup in 2002 having lost in 1998 and 2000, and won the European/South American Cup in 1960, 1998 and 2002, losing in 1966 and 2000.

Atletico won the Europa League in 2010 and 2012 and lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1962, losing in the final of the same competition in 1963 and 1986. They claimed the Super Cup in 2010 and 2012.

The teams have met in only one previous European tie, in the 1958/59 European Cup semi-finals. Madrid won the home first leg 2-1, Héctor Rial's goal (15) and a Ferenc Puskás penalty (33) overturning Chuzo's 13th-minute opener. Atlético prevailed in the return thanks to Enrique Collar's 43rd-minute effort.

That meant a replay six days later, played in Zaragoza, where Alfredo di Stéfano's early goal was swiftly cancelled out by Collar. Madrid had the last word as Puskás struck the decisive blow three minutes before half-time to take them into a fourth successive final.

Real Madrid: Domínguez, Miche, Santamaría, Lesmes, Ruiz, Zárraga, Mateos, Kopa, Di Stéfano, Puskás, Gento.

Atletico: Pazos, Rivilla, Callejo, Mendiondo, Chuzo, Calleja, Miguel, Agustín, Vavá, Peiró, Collar.

The sides have met in 194 league and Spanish Cup games, with 102 Madrid wins, 46 for Atletico and 46 draws.

Atletico held the edge in this season's Liga fixtures, Diego Costa scoring the only goal at the Santiago Bernabéu on 28 September – Atletico's first league win against their neighbours since 1999 – before a 2-2 draw at the Estadio Vicente Calderón on 2 March. Karim Benzema (3) gave the visitors the lead but goals from Koke (28) and Gabi (45+1) turned the match in Atletico's favour before Ronaldo earned Madrid a point (82).

Madrid won the teams' Copa del Rey semi-final, goals from Pepe (17), Jesé (57) and Ángel Di María (73) earning a 3-0 victory in the home first leg on 5 February. Two Ronaldo penalties (7, 16) earned a 2-0 away win.

The teams have contested five Copa del Rey finals, Atletico winning four. Most recent was last season's showpiece at the Santiago Bernabéu when the Rojiblancos won 2-1, Miranda's extra-time goal sealing victory after Ronaldo's opener was cancelled out by Costa. Ronaldo and Atletico captain Gabi were sent off as Atletico ended a run of ten successive defeats against their neighbours in all competitions. Atletico were also triumphant in the 1960, 1961 and 1992 finals, with Madrid winning the 1975 showpiece on penalties.

Atletico have won six and lost only two of their 11 other European games against Spanish sides, including ousting FC Barcelona 2-1 on aggregate in this season's quarterfinals.

Both teams have won European finals against fellow Liga clubs. In addition to Madrid's 2000 Champions League victory against Valencia, Atlético overcame Athletic Club 3-0 in the 2012 Europa League showpiece in Bucharest – Diego scoring their late third after Radamel Falcao's first-half double. However, they lost on penalties to Villarreal in a 2004 Intertoto Cup final after each team had won their home leg 2-0.

Atletico are unbeaten in their last eight European games against Spanish sides (W5 L3) since that first-leg defeat against Villarreal. Madrid, meanwhile, have not won in their last three (D2 L1), all against Barcelona, since a 2-0 win in the 2001/02 semifinal first leg.

Atletico have won nine and drawn three in this season's competition and have not lost in 13 European fixtures, since a 2-0 home defeat by Rubin Kazan in last season's Europa League round of 32 first leg.

Madrid have won ten – including seven of the last eight – and drawn one of their Champions League matches this season. Their sole defeat was a 2-0 reverse at Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-final second leg.

Carlo Ancelotti, who guided AC Milan to Champions League glory in 2003 and 2007 and lost in the 2005 final, can claim a third European Cup in Lisbon. He also won two as a player in 1989 and 1990. Only Bob Paisley (Liverpool 1977, 1978, 1981) has won the trophy three times as a coach.

Diego Simeone could become only the third non-European coach to win the European Cup – the first two were also Argentinian, namely Luis Carniglia (Madrid 1958, 1959) and Helenio Herrera (Inter Milan 1964, 1965).

Ancelotti and Simeone crossed paths as players when the former's Milan beat AC Pisa 1-0 in January 1991.

Filipe Luís, Diego, Marcelo and Casemiro have all been capped by Brazil while Ronaldo, Fábio Coentrão, Pepe and Tiago are Portugal internationals. Costa, David Villa, Juanfran, Koke, Xabi Alonso, Isco, Sergio Ramos, Álvaro Arbeloa and Casillas are international team-mates with Spain.

Álvaro Morata, Isco, Asier Illarramendi, Nacho, Daniel Carvajal and Koke were part of Spain's victorious 2013 European Under-21 Championship squad.

Ronaldo has registered 12 goals in 13 appearances in all competitions against Atletico, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-1 Liga win on 11 April 2012 but being sent off after scoring in Madrid's 2-1 Copa del Rey final reverse last season.

Benzema and Tiago were team-mates at Olympique Lyonnais between 2005 and 2007 while Diego Godín and Diego López played together at Villarreal from 2007 to 2010.

Ramos has twice been sent off against Atlético; in a 1-1 Liga draw on 1 October 2006 and during Madrid's 3-2 league win in November 2009.

Emiliano Insúa, Arbeloa and Alonso were team-mates at Liverpool, as were Pepe and Diego at FC Porto.

Villa scored a penalty in Real Zaragoza's 3-2 win against Madrid in the 2004 Copa del Rey final. Villa has registered nine goals in 25 appearances against Madrid for Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona and Atlético. He was sent off in Barcelona's 3-2 win in the 2011 Spanish Super Cup second leg.

Source: supersport.com

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