Published: Sun, May 29, 2016
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Cristiano Ronaldo takes a dig at La Liga champions Barcelona

Self-styled as the "galácticos", Real can lavish around $120 million on a single player, as it did to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, the current World Player of the Year, and Gareth Bale, who put Real ahead in the 2014 final.

The game will once again be the immovable defence of Atletico against the irresistible force of Real Madrid's attack. We know this will be a completely different game, but we are confident we can win it'. They do everything as a team and don't discount anyone, but we're all focused and prepared for the final.

"I think Real Madrid has more possibility because they have more technical quality but Atletico is really strong and beat Barcelona in the quarterfinal and Bayern Munich in the semifinal".

In what was to become the worst season in Atletico's history as they were relegated from the top flight, there was one moment of glory for Los Rojiblancos as one of just nine league victories that season came at the Bernabeu thanks to two goals from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and another from Jose Mari after Fernando Morientes' opener for Real.

They have rested more this season and have more layers as a team, and have a better bench.

"When they equalized, we knew it was going to be really hard for us because of our physical state and we were going to struggle", Atletico's captain Gabi recently told reporters.

As expected, Simeone expressed his belief that tomorrow's final will be every bit as intense as the final from 2014 and portrayed a palpable passion for the club he has managed for four-and-a-half years.

Football is a state of the mind, as Real's former general manager Jorge Valdano says, but also a competition to reduce mistakes. Casemiro enables them to regroup better if they lose the ball.

"The club, the players, the group we've created, is reinventing itself continuously". Given the club's record of impatience with coaches (Zidane is the 13th in as many years), questions would inevitably be raised about another possible change. Now, what the players want is for the match to get started.



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