Real Madrid will take on Atletico Madrid in the 2014 UEFA Champions League at Estadio da Luz, Lisbon Portugal on Saturday May 24.
The fixture between the two Spanish capital club will be the last of the European ties, marking an end to the 2013/14 season across the continent.
Atletico Madrid needed a draw in the final game of the league to win the La Liga title, while their opponents Barcelona needed a win to retain their title. However, the fixture at Nou Camp ended in a 1-1 draw and the result was sufficient for Diego Simeone’s side to become the Spanish champions.
The Los Blancos registered a comfortable victory over outgoing Champions League winners Bayern Munich in the semi finals as Real won the two-legged tie without much trouble.
Meanwhile, their neighbours, Atletico also an easy way to the final of the European competition by defeating Premier League club Chelsea in the penultimate round of the competition.
It is for the second consecutive and only fifth time the final will be contested between the two clubs from the same association.
How Did They Fare in the Semi Final
Real sealed a 5-0 aggregate victory over Bayern in the semi final of the Champions League. In the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Carlo Ancelotti’s side had a narrow 1-0 victory. Karim Benzema’s solitary goal in the 19th minute saw the Spanish capital club take a lead to the second leg.
The tie at the Allianz Arena saw the German champions battered as Real had a crushing 4-0 victory. Spain international Sergio Ramos struck twice in the space of four minutes just after the quarter hour mark.
The Los Blancos’ lead for extended by their star player Cristiano Ronaldo who made it 3-0 in the 34th minute. The Portugal international then scored his second and Real’s fourth goal in the dying moments of the game to make it 4-0. Real won 5-0 on aggregate and sealed a place in the finals.
Meanwhile, Atletico had a tough start to the semi final clash as the first leg against Chelsea at Vicente Calderón Stadium ended in a goalless draw. The return leg at Stamford Bride was dominated by Simeone’s side, despite Fernando Torres opening the proceedings for the West London club.
Adrian pulled an equaliser before the half time for Simeone’s side. However, it was Chelsea summer target Diego Costa’s penalty during the hour mark before Arda Turan’s strike 12 minutes later was sufficient for Atletico to make it to the final of the Champions League.
Road to Lisbon
- Last 16: 9-2 (Agg) vs Schalke 04
- Quarter Final: 5-1 vs Borussia Dortmund
- Semi Final: 5-0 (Agg) vs Bayern Munich
- Last 16: 5-1 (Agg) vs AC Milan
- Quarter Final: 2-1 vs Barcelona
- Semi Final: 3-1 (Agg) vs Chelsea
Björn Kuipers will be the referee for this season’s Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. He will have his Netherlands compatriots Sander van Roekel and Erwin Zeinstra as his assitants for the game on Saturday.
The fourth official will be Turkey’s Cüneyt Çakır, and the two additional assistant referees, Pol van Boekel and Richard Liesveld, are also from the Netherlands.
Brych was the referee for the 2011 UEFA Super Cu and last season’s UEFA Europa League final between Chelsea and Benfica, which was won the Blues under the managerial guidance of Rafael Benitez.
Real have made it to the finals of the Europe’s elite club competition and have won in nine occasions. They are holding the record for most number of European cups and would be looking to extend their tally by winning for the 10th later this weekend.
Meanwhile, Atletico have made it to the finals only once in 1974 where they faced Bayern Munich. The Rojiblancos lost the tie against the German giants and will be making their second European final appearance in Lisbon.
Carlo Ancelotti has set his sights on winning the Champions League for the third time in his career as a manager. If he manages to win it, he will be the second manager after Bob Paisely’s success of guiding Liverpool to victory in 1977, 1978 and 1981.
What Managers Say
The former AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain manager believes there are no favourites to win this season’s Champions League as Real take on their derby rivals Atletico in the final in Lisbon.
“Like all finals it’s going to be very even. In finals like this there is no favourite. After they won the Liga they are euphoric but we are motivated and excited because we’ve done well so far.”
“Atlético are not a team that opens up when they attack. They are compact even when they attack. They go forward with control. We know they’ll be a solid team. We’ve played them four times this season so we know each other well,” said Ancelotti. “We need to find a way to beat them.”
Atletico manager believes the Rojiblancos success this season on the field is down to their hard work and effort but by the club in the past three years, which has been fruitful now.
“It’s the fruit of the labour that we’ve been doing for nearly three years. We responded well in the Europa League a year and a half ago, if I remember rightly. We still have the same humility, the same group ethic.”
“From the strikers right through to the goalkeeper, the team is aware of how we need to play in order to succeed, in order to highlight our strengths and hide our weaknesses – because we do have weaknesses, we just hope not to show them.”
Real Madrid 3 – Espanyol 1 (La Liga)
Celta 2 – Real Madrid 0 (La Liga)
Valladolid 1 – Real Madrid 1 (La Liga)
Real Madrid 2 – Valencia 2 (La Liga)
Bayern Munich 0 – Real Madrid 4 UCL
Barcelona 1 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga)
Atletico Madrid 1 – Malaga 1 (La Liga)
Levante 2 – Atletico Madrid 0 (La Liga)
Chelsea 1 – Atletico Madrid 3 UCL
Valencia 0 – Atletico Madrid 1 (La Liga)
Probable Line Up:
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Casillas; Marcelo, Pepe, Ramos, Carvajal; Modric, Illarramendi, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Tiago, Arda Turan, Koke; Raul Garcia, Villa