The Champions League final will decide the best team in Europe, as Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will do battle to determine which team is truly the league's top dog.
Atletico played to a draw against Barcelona on the season's final day, earning the title as the best team in Spain. Will they ride that exciting draw into the final against the Galacticos?
The Galacticos hung with Atletico until the season's final weeks. These two teams are very evenly matched, so it will be an extremely compelling matchup.
This isn't a game you want to miss. Below is all the must-know info to make sure you catch every second of the action.
When: Saturday, May 24, at 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
Where: Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal.
TV: Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / ITV / ITV HD (U.K. only) / Fox (U.S. only)
What to Watch For
There are plenty of top-notch stars on both teams in the Champions League final, but this contest will come down to the goalkeepers.
Atleti's Thibaut Courtois and Real's Iker Casillas will be crucial to this game's outcome. Nicholas Rigg of the Independent reminds us of just how much Courtois has accomplished already in his young career:
You’d be forgiven for forgetting Courtois is still only 22. Although still young, the Chelsea loan man is preparing for a World Cup, a Champions League final and has just won La Liga. Add to that last season’s Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup and the Europa League in his first season at the Vicente Calderon. He also won the ‘Zamora’ award, for conceding the fewest goals in La Liga, for the second year running with just 24 getting past him in 37 matches.
Courtois has come up big in big spots. He has already shown how clutch he can be against Barcelona and Real this season.
Casillas has been equally as impressive this season. He set a Spanish record of 952 minutes without allowing a goal. He has also never lost to Atletico, and that's something that should be monitored throughout the contest.
Goalkeeping will be so important in a contest filled with stars. Courtois and Casillas will both need to be stellar in order to keep the opposition off the scoreboard.
Player to Watch
Don't take your eyes off Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo in the final.
Atletico is known for their stingy defense. Opposing teams simply find it difficult to hit the back of the net against Courtois and the defense in front of him. Ronaldo will do his best to cut through this defense and get his team on the scoreboard early.
Ronaldo, of course, has been superb this season. In 10 Champions League matches, Ronaldo has scored an uncanny 16 goals. When Real scores, Ronaldo is almost always involved in some capacity.
Even if it means drawing attention from defenders to open up lanes for his teammates, Ronaldo is capable of altering the defensive strategy of a team.
Ronaldo will certainly attract the attention of Atleti's defense. It'd be smart for you to keep an eye on him as well.
It will ultimately come down to Ronaldo and the defense of Atletico.
It's hard to pick against the reigning Ballon d'Or winner, but there is a reason Atletico have seen so much dominance this season. This will be an extremely close match as a result.
Given their recent success, Atletico should be considered favorites in this one. Ronaldo will have a fine game in the end, too. That said, Atletico will hoist the Champions League title.
Prediction: 2-1, Atletico Madrid
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