The final match of the 2016 UEFA Champions League is here and for the second time in three years Madrid sides, Real and Atletico will face off at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, San Siro on Saturday 28 May.
For the two sides, history is at stake as Real Madrid go in search of a record 11th title while their crosstown rivals, whom the beat 4 – 1 in the 2014 final, go in search of the first title.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane will look to join an elite group of footballers who have won the title both as players and as coaches. Zizou will carry great memories of his 2002 volley, which saw Real lift the trophy.
Among the group of elite players he could join on Saturday include Miguel Munoz, who first won it both as a coach and a player. Others include Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola. Zidane will also be keen to improve his Champions League record at the San Siro; he has only recorded one win there, as a Juventus player.
The spotlight will also be on arguably one of the two greatest footballers of our time, Cristiano Ronaldo, who will try to break the jinx in Milan, as well as scale his personal records. Ronaldo is both winless and scoreless in his 3 previous matches at the San Siro.
CR7 could, however, be breaking his own records as a goal or more on the night will see him equal or surpass his single season record of 17 goals in the competition. If he finds the back of the net, Cristiano could go on to become the first player in history to score in three UCL finals. Currently, Ronaldo has a goal tally of 93 in the competition and a goal or more would certainly accelerate him away from Lionel Messi, whose tally stands at 93.
Real Madrid will also seek to amend the club’s own records as Los Blancos have failed to register a win in their past 14 trips to Milan.
On the flipside, Atletico Madrid will attempt to win the competition for the maiden time, as they have only managed to finish runners up on two occasions: 1974 and 2014. A win for Atletico shall also be Diego Simeone’s maiden Champions League title as coach.
Both teams have traveled with their full squads in tow with Real Madrid managed Zinedine Zidane carrying a team including defenders Raphael Varane and Alvaro Arbeloa who were previously listed as serious doubts for the match.