Champions League Final
May 27, 2016
Where to Watch and At What Time
FOX at 2:45 pm EST
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano, Italy
Mark Clattenburg (England)
Road to the Final
Real Madrid started the campaign in Group A and ended up winning the group. In their group, they defeated Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo home and away. They drew in Paris and then defeated them at home 1-0. In the knockout phase, Real Madrid faced Roma first and easily defeated them 4-0 on aggregate with a 2-0 win in each leg. In the quarterfinals, Real Madrid lost the first leg 2-0 in Wolfsburg. In the second leg, Cristiano Ronaldo scored an impressive hat trick to seal the passage for Real Madrid. In the semifinals, Real Madrid faced off with Manchester City. The only goal was in the second leg as a Fernando own goal. Both of the games were not overly exciting, but it does mean that Real Madrid have a chance to win their 11th Champions League title.
Atletico Madrid was in Group C this season and won the group by 3 points over Benfica. They defeated Galatasaray in both legs. They defeated Astana at home but were unable to win in Kazakhstan. Atleti lost the home game against Benfica but won in the final day to win the group in Portugal. In the quarterfinals, PSV Eindhoven held Atletico off the scoreboard in both legs and forced penalty kicks. Atletico won 8-7 on penalties. In the quarterfinals, Atletico Madrid faced the defending champions, Barcelona. Barcelona won the first leg at home 2-1. In the second leg, Atletico Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-0 and knocked the champions out of the competition. In the semifinals, Atletico defeated Bayern Munich 1-0 in the first leg at home. In Germany, Bayern Munich won the game 2-1 but was knocked out on away goals. Atletico Madrid is back in the final for the second time in three years. Can they defeat their crosstown rivals?
Real Madrid is now managed by Zinedine Zidane. He took over in January following the dismissal of Rafa Benitez. He has been in charge for 26 games and has won 21 of those games. This is his first managerial position. He was the manager of Real Madrid Castilla for the start of the season. He has really turned around the season for Real Madrid and gave them a shot at the league title. Can he win join the elite club of people who have won the Champions league as a player and a coach?
Diego Simeone has been the manager for the last four and a half seasons. As the manager of the club, he led them to their first title since 1996 in 2013-14. He also won the Copa del Rey in 2013 and the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in 2012. He has revolutionized Atletico Madrid and really broken the duopoly that was the Spanish La Liga. Can he now deliver the one trophy that has eluded him?
Players to Watch
Cristiano Ronaldo is the superstar for Real Madrid. He has been their talisman and will need to be at his best, and he has in the Champions League this season. He has 16 goals this season and is 2 away from setting the record for the most goals in a campaign. The record is 17 and Ronaldo set it in 2013-14. He has 93 goals in his career. He will be the one to watch as he looks to win his third Champions League winners medal.
Antoine Griezmann is the star man on a team that plays for each other. He has scored 7 goals this season in the Champions League and is the man who leads the attack. He will have his sights on winning the Champions League for the first time ever.
Probable Starting XI
Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Atletico Madrid: Oblak, Juanfran, Gimenez, Godin, Luiz, Niguez, Koke, Gabi, Carrasco, Griezmann, Torres
My Pick – Real 2, Atletico 1: Goals by Bale, Benzema, and Griezmann
James’ Pick – Real 1, Atletico 2: Goals by Ronaldo and Griezmann (2)