As they prepare to meet in the first one-city European Cup final, Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid are aiming to realize their dreams at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica.
The coaches of Real Madrid CF and Club Atlético de Madrid are united in the belief that their meeting in Lisbon will be a tactical battle decided by which set of players receives “the right instructions,” according to UEFA’s official website.
While nine-time winners Madrid are in their 13th European Cup final – albeit a first for 12 years – Atlético’s only previous venture to this stage ended in disappointment in 1974. This is coach Diego Simeone’s debut season in the UEFA Champions League; his opposite number Carlo Ancelotti, on the other hand, has an association with the competition stretching back almost 30 years.
“I’ve had a lot from this competition; I’ve won it four times, this is my seventh final, so I can’t ask for more,” the Madrid coach said. “Everyone knows how important this competition is for Real Madrid but my job is to do my best to help us win this competition – and we’re very close.”
Atlético have not been in the European Cup final for 40 years but, having lifted the UEFA Europa League in 2010 and 2012, do not lack for big-match experience – a point their coach was keen to stress. “This is a big opportunity and a big occasion; I don’t feel as overwhelmed as some people seem to think, but I feel the responsibility,” Simeone said. “There’s a lot of people who trust us and I hope we can live up to that.”