Two years after their dramatic finale in Lisbon Portugal, both Spanish major league teams Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are scheduled to go head to head once again this Saturday, playing for the UEFA Champions League title at the Stadio San Siro in Milan, Italy.
It’s the second time in three years the two squads have met for the final. Real Madrid has won 10 titles while Atletico Madrid is looking for its first championship.
Moreover, Atletico fans are still sore over the 2014 finale, which serves as an additional motivation for revenge after being denied their first European crown two years ago, when Sergio Ramos’ injury-time header allowed Real to force extra time. They eventually won at a canter against a spent Atletico.
Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed another exceptional season, racking up 50-plus goals for the sixth consecutive term to further cement his status as Real’s all-time leading goalscorer.
The Portugal forward has particularly exceled in the Champions League, scoring 16 goals in 11 appearances to move within one of equaling the competition’s all-time single-season record of 17 – which he set two years ago.
The Champions League is the only trophy Atletico have failed to win under their remarkable manager Diego Simeone, who lifted the Europa League and Uefa Super Cup in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2013 plus La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in 2014.
Despite that Real Madrid enjoys a continental leverage; the club defeated Atletico only once in the last ten meetings the two had, which were split into 5 defeats and 4 draws.
This is the third time in the past four years the Champions League final has been contested by teams from the same nation (Germany 2013, Spain 2014, Spain (2016).