A year after the all-German Champions League final in London, we will have an all-Spanish Champions League final in Lisbon that will also mark the first time two clubs from the same city face each other for the title.
With Real Madrid destroying the reigning champions of Europe and Atletico continued their improbable undefeated Champions League run against Chelsea in the semifinals, it's difficult to argue that the two Madrid clubs aren't the best on the continent this season. It will be the fifth time the two sides meet this season — they've already played twice in La Liga (Atletico won at the Bernabeu 1-0, then at the Calderon they only managed a 2-2 draw) and twice in the Copa del Rey semifinals (Real Madrid won the first leg 3-0 and the second leg 2-0 on their way to winning the cup). While Real Madrid are in search of La Decima, their 10th European Cup, this will only mark Atletico's second appearance in the final after they finished runners-up way back in 1974.
Though Real Madrid will surely be pegged as favorites in Lisbon, Atletico have proven that they are capable of overcoming all odds this season. They currently have a four-point lead atop La Liga and after a scoreless draw in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal, they fell behind 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in the second leg and still fought back in hostile territory to win 3-1 and advance. Underestimating them at this point would be idiocy.
The final will be a game of two potent attacks — Real Madrid with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema and Atletico with Diego Costa, David Villa and Koke — and two brilliant managers in Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone. Though it might not be the match-up most people expected back when the season first began, there really isn't a better one you could ask for at this point.
Previous single-nation Champions League finals:
2000: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia at Stade de France
2003: Milan 0-0 Juventus at Old Trafford (Milan won on penalties)
2008: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea at Luzhniki Stadium (Man United won on penalties)
2013: Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium
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