Champions League Final 2014 – Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The (Oppressed) People’s Club

It says a great deal about what the older generation head-shakingly call, ‘the modern game’, that a team sponsored by Azerbaijan, a country ranked an impressively-low 160th in the reputable Press Freedom Index, can be described as a, ‘breath of fresh air.’

For indeed, ignoring the shot journalists, that is exactly what Atleti have been this season. Faced with the two most powerful behemoths in world football, they have only just gone and pipped them both to the La Liga title. Because for all the money in the world, a brilliant manager who can coach a style of play and foster an indefatigable team spirit, can still go a bloody long way.

All the way to Lisbon in fact, where this Saturday in the first ever one-city-Final, Atleti face Real, to decide who will be Kings of Europe, but more importantly, Kings of Madrid.

One of the great strengths of Simeone’s Atleti so far this season, has been their astonishing resolve in adversity. One down in the semi at the Bridge – we’ll just go and smack three in at the other end. Needing a point in the Camp Nou last Saturday (‘slaying the monster in his lair’ as Simeone described it,) going a goal down and losing your two most in-form attacking players to injury all inside twenty minutes – calmly equalise from a set-piece just after half-time, and comfortably hold out.

But this Saturday, the odds may be stacked too heavily against them. Almost certainly lacking Diego Costa, and with Madrid effectively having two weeks to prepare since being eliminated from the la Liga title race, we cant see past la décima. Take Real to win after scores being level at HT, as Atleti inevitably tire. Betfair offer 5.6.

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