These two clubs are only separated by 10 miles, but by a wealth of trophies, including 10 European Cups. Real won their tenth trophy only two years ago against Atletico when a dramatic goal by Sergio Ramos deep into injury time cancelled Diego Godin’s opener, and Real ran rampant in extra-time winning 4-1.
While Atletico have been in Real’s shadows for most of their history, under Diego Simeone the gap has not only lessened some think it has closed. Simeone seems to thrive on the working-class background of Atletico and is happiest when they are the firm underdogs, as they were in the quarter-final against Barcelona and the semis against Bayern Munich.
Against what are regarded as the best teams in the world, Atletico were supremely organised against Barca and Munich, winning 3-2 on aggregate and going through on away goals after 2-2 on aggregate respectively.
Simeone has built one of the hardest defenses to break down in the world, and if two years ago they were a surprise, they are no longer.
Under new coach, legendary Zinedine Zidane, Real returned to threaten Barcelona’s hold on the title and only lost it on the last day of the season. Their strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema have scored 98 goals between them before the final.
Since losing the Champions League final two years ago, Atletico have had the upper hand in these meetings, winning five, drawing four times and losing once, when Real eliminated its city rivals at the Quarter-Final stage of last year’s competition.