The final may be in Lisbon but the Portuguese capital seems more Italian today as thousands of fans pour into the City from Madrid for the showpiece European final.
Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid. What a final and what a contrast.
Real Madrid packed with superstars and a budget of millions against their neighbours who have always been in their shadow and dealing with a fraction of the money they have at their disposal.
Both are here on merit and we can expect a game of many twists and turns.
Real Madrid are looking for “La Decima”, their tenth win in the competition. They have been waiting for that magical figure since 2002. Many fans feel it is their right but don’t tell that to any Atletico supporter.
Atletico have already taken La Liga title and you would have to say if they can win this trophy it would have to be regarded as one of the great wins in sport not just football in several decades.
Real were third in the Spanish league but despite that they are still the favourites to win the tournament.
Such a contrast in styles and even in managers. In Real we have Carlo Ancelotti. He won it twice as a player and if he wins this evening he will move alongside Bob Paisley as being the only other manager to have won it three times.
According to Sergio Ramos he is a “friend” to the players. A bit of a change from Jose Mourinho. If he wins it will be all rosy in the garden. If not then the friend could be saying bye bye.
In the other corner is Diego Simeone. Nothing flash or over the top here. The 44 year Argentine believes in passion and hard work. He is the “Special One” if you ask me.
According to Tiago he is “like a god”.
“What he tells us comes true and we follow. If he asks us to jump from the bridge , we jump.”
Atletico are waiting on Diego Costa who has been receiving treatment for a hamstring in Belgrade with horse placenta. Also a concern is Arda Turan. Both are still expected to start.
Ronaldo too will start as will Gareth Bale. You could say he made the right decision to leave Spurs to make it into the big time.
If you look at it Real with so many stars, they have to be the winners. And yet behind it all they struggle to break down and beat an Atletico team who will not fear their City rivals.
It promises to quite a game. I’m going with Atletico.