It’s almost upon us, the last major club game before everyone, including Outside of the Boot, shifts into complete World Cup mode. It’s the 2013/14 Champions League final between the two Madrid clubs. On one sides is Ancelotti’s Real Madrid, searching for that coveted 10th Champions League crown, on the other end we have Atletico Madrid, chasing their first ever triumph in Europe’s biggest competition.
As we wait eagerly for what is promised to be an incredible game, lets dabble into some tactics and interviews to help you football enthusiasts to get a better idea of the teams, what we can expect of them and more as they set out onto the Lisbon pitch.
1) What tactics can we expect from the Champions League final? Who will prove to be the key men? Where will the game be won and lost? All this explained and discussed in this debate here by our two editors, Sami Faizullah & Vishal Patel.
2) Atletico Madrid booked their place in the Champions League final with Juan Fran’s excellent far post runs, that and more explained in this Tactical Analysis of the Stamford Bridge game.
3) Real Madrid absolutely humiliated Bayern Munich in the second leg of their semi-final game at the Allianz Arena, Real Madrid’s use of set-pieces proving to be particularly threatening.
4) Ancelotti’s men also showed the perfect way of countering a possession based team with a solid defence & quick attack as they beat Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu as well.
5) At home, Simeone’s men struggled to break down a compact Chelsea set-up in the first leg. Could Real find success with a similar approach?
6) We spoke with the editor of Real Madrid website, Managing Madrid, about what it means for the club to win La Decima, Ancelotti’s tactical philosophy and much more.
7) Writer for Daily Mirror, Sport (Spain) & Who Scored, David Cartlidge, spoke with us about the pressure that Atletico faced competing for two major competitions, how they’ve become the neutrals favourite team, and much more.
8) The first of a four part series, dissecting Atletico’s tactics. This part deals with their basic formation.
9) The second part of that series focuses on how Simeone gets his men to build-up play from midfield and defence.
10) The third talks about their attacking approach in the final third which has proved to be particularly unconventional.
11) Atletico’s defensive set-up has proved to be highly successful. This fourth part explains that in detail.
12) Borussia Dortmund showed how good pressing and fast paced counters can catch Real Madrid out in the second leg of their quater-final, something for Atletico to take note of.
13) On the same day, Atletico showed how their solid defense and quick counters can be extremely successful in beating a team like Barcelona. This, the Tactical Analysis of the second leg from the Calderon.
14) We spoke with the presenter for Real Madrid TV, Phil Kitromilides, as someone working closely with the club, talks to us about what it means for Real Madrid to win their 10th Champions League crown (yes, it’s a common question).
15) Luka Modric has extremely improved this season, in a new deep role, and this was on display as Real defeated Dortmund 3-0 in the first leg quarter-final.
16) Atletico have been extremely impressive and successful against Barcelona, one such match was at the Camp Nou in the Champions League where after taking the lead, they were able to come away with an impressive 1-1 result.
17) We interviewed Atletico Madrid fan, Billy Edwards, and writer for AtleticoFans.com as he shared his thoughts on Atletico’s campaign, who could be their key players besides Diego Costa and more.
18) Atletico Madrid also showed their defensive solidity earlier in the campaign, when they beat AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro.
19) This piece shows how Real used a narrow defence when they earned a 2-2 draw in Turin against Juventus.
20) And finally, this tactical analysis explains Real’s 2-1 over Juventus in Madrid, and focused on Modric’s new role which we were seeing for the first time earlier in the season.