On Saturday May 24th, 2014, one team will fulfill what will feel like their destiny. We’ve heard all the talk of La Decima for Real Madrid. Since 2001, Real Madrid have hired manager after manager in order to attain this piece of history. Will Carlo Ancelotti be the man to get them there? Diego Simeone is nothing short of a miracle worker. He will definitely be sought after by elite European clubs if he decides to leave Atletico Madrid. He took a club that lay four points off the relegation zone and has won a trophy in the first two years he’s been there. Last season’s Copa Del Rey victory over Real showed the world they were on the radar. Winning La Liga at the Camp Nou confirmed to the world that Atletico were for real.
For years Real have bought the best players in the world in Zidane, Ronaldo, Beckham, Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Bale to name a few. Meanwhile, neighbors Atletico have had to sell their best players such as Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, David De Gea and Falcao just to stave off bankruptcy. To further highlight the historical disparity between the two; while Real were beating Valencia to win Champions League trophy number eight, Atletico Madrid were being relegated from La Liga. Both sets of supporters will feel their time has come to claim this Champions League crown. You can’t fault either for having this feeling. Destiny beckons for one, for the other bitter disappointment, but perhaps less so for Atletico. I for one think tactics go out the window in this game. It’s a cliche but this come downs to the team that wants it more. It’s all about blood, sweat and tears and Cristiano Ronaldo cries like the best of them. He wants this so badly and Ancelotti’s job could be on the line if he doesn’t deliver. Atleti have already overachieved this season and I’m not even sure that Diego Costa’s horse placenta treatment will be enough for Los Rojiblancos if he miraculously takes the pitch. My prediction is 2-1 Real Madrid.
No one cares what I think though… here’s what the smart guys have to say.
Rishay: Although my heart wants Atletico to win, and Atletico are the team that have got this far with their heart, I have to say that Real Madrid are the favourites. “La Decima” has been the craving for the past decade and now is their chance. With that being said, the head to head between these teams this season has been interesting. Atletico claimed four points out of six against Real in the league – including a famous 1-0 win at the Bernabeu, while Real knocked their fierce Madrid rivals out of the Copa Del Rey without conceding a goal over two legs. The tie is delicately poised and in favour of Real simply because of the names on paper. Atletico have come out of the pressure cooker at the Camp Nou to win the league, which is better than Real could manage at that venue this season. Something tells me that Atletico could upset Real and rewrite the history books. Diego Simeone’s men will put their blood, sweat, and tears into this one and Los Blancos will have to wait another year. 2-1 Atletico.
Alexander: It’s hard not to feel as though this may just be one hurdle too many for an Atletico side that have performed miracles this season. It’s hard not to feel as though Arda Turan and Diego Costa will be massive misses for them. It’s also hard not to feel that the vaguely haunting power of La Decima might also give Real a psychological edge. All that said, there are fitness concerns over Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo, and if there has been one running theme of Atletico’s season it has been that they confound expectations at every turn. They did not lose to Real Madrid in La Liga this season, beating them once at the Bernabeu and drawing with them at the Vicente Calderón. Diego Simeone has been a master motivator every step of the way, and he will be telling his boys – like a midwife to a birthing mother – to give it “one last push”. I think they might just do it. 2-2 – Atletico to win on penalties.
Mohaned: I feel this will be one too many for Atletico, especially if they are missing Diego Costa and/or Arda Turan. We saw against Barcelona on the final day of La Liga that they were lacking going forward. Their saving grace is their strong defense. On the other hand, Real Madrid are stacked. They are stung from losing out on La Liga in bizarre fashion and will want to secure La Decima with all their might. The good news for Atletico is that Ronaldo seems to be 50/50 to feature in this game. Overall, Atletico will play with passion and fight but will ultimately be reserved. Madrid know no other way than to play on the fast counter. It’ll be feisty, it’ll be exciting, and it’ll be a final for the history books. 3-1 Real Madrid
You can listen to us talking more in depth about this in our latest podcast. You’ll see that Alex had a change of opinion too. This tie has clearly confused him and many more around the world.
Agree or disagree? Let us know what you think! Enjoy the game!