Pitchside

The View From Europe: Who will triumph in the all-Madrid Champions League final?

Pitchside

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We asked our colleagues across Europe to give their predictions for tonight's Champions League final between Atletico and Real Madrid.

The match in Lisbon has added significance because it is an opportunity for Diego Simeone's brilliant underdogs to claim a historic domestic and continental double, while Real are chasing the mythical 'Decima' - their 10th European title.

It is also, of course, a Spanish capital derby, adding a local rivalry to the mix.

Atletico have been the best team both domestically and in Europe this season, but Real have the bigger stars and the more notable matchwinners. It's a tight one, and the verdict is mixed...

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SPAIN - Web Editor, Jorge Ordas

Very difficult to predict a result. Nobody would be surprised if Atletico or Real win, but it would also not be surprising if one team won comfortably on the night. Both teams have problems with injuries (Costa-Arda in Atletico; Benzema, Pepe, Cristiano in Real), and Real Madrid won't have a very important player in Xabi Alonso. The battle of Lisbon will be decided by little details because Real and Atletico know each other very well after having played four games this season and in the Copa del Rey final last season. Real Madrid will be favourites if they can run hard and make counter-attacks but Atletico will have their opportunities if they can disrupt Real Madrid's play and wait for their chances at set pieces, like they did last week against Barcelona and in the 2013 Copa del Rey final. One team wants 'la Decima', the other team wants to avenge the 1974 final. There are too many ingredients to have a favourite, and nothing would surprise me.

Verdict: N/A

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FRANCE - Head of News, Laurent Vergne

If you think about it, everything should point towards an Atletico victory: they've just won La Liga and they are the only undefeated team in the Champions League this year, even after playing Chelsea and Barcelona. They have no weaknesses and they are probably the most difficult team to play in Europe today. But we'll go with intuition over reason here and predict a Real Madrid victory. Why? Because, even if Los Colchoneros were the most consistent team, in one single game I think the overall talent of Real is superior. History has taught us that great players often change the destiny of great games. I also think La Decima is an obsession for Real and, in the end, they probably want the CL a little bit more than Atletico. Of course, it doesn’t mean Diego Simeone's side don't want to win tonight, but they already have La Liga, already a fantastic accomplishment, but Real's season has not been a success - not yet. So a close one, and nobody could really be surprises if Atletico prevails. But we'll go with Real.

Verdict: Real

BRITAIN/IRELAND - Deputy Managing Editor, Tom Adams

Real Madrid have the better individuals, Atletico Madrid, the La Liga title winners, the better team. A close contest awaits, but if an edge can be found surely it comes in the form of Cristiano Ronaldo, especially with Diego Costa likely missing out due to injury. Like the great players before him and his nemesis Lionel Messi, the Real forward has a firm grasp of his own destiny and an insatiable desire to forge his place in football's history. Already having scored a record number of goals in the Champions League this season, he will surely score in the final too. In his home country, with a 10th European Cup within reach for Real, the grandest of stages is set. Ronaldo will not disappoint.

Verdict: Real

ITALY - Deputy Managing Editor, Alessandro Brunetti

Obviously, it's very difficult to predict the result in a final, moreover these teams know each other very well after an amazing season in the same championship. Still, we believe Real Madrid are more likely to win. Why? They have more 'hunger' for victory (after their La Liga defeat) and want to win the 'Decima', a real obsession for them. Ancelotti has great experience in Europe, having already won two Champions Leagues as manager, and the Italian could be add real value to this final. Last but not least, Atletico comes to this match exhausted, tired and most like without their star (Diego Costa). This has been an amazing season for los Colchoneros, but the feeling is that they have already given everything.

Verdict: Real

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POLAND - Web Editor, Jakub Ostrowski

Solidarity, team spirit, fellowship? It gives you an advantage in regular league competition. No doubt. You have to be strong; you are only as good as your weakest point. For that reason the best team in Spain is Atletico Madrid. Justice in football has finally happened. But cup finals are a different story, a story of individuality, desire and confidence. In this context I see Real Madrid as a champions rather than Atletico. Cristiano Ronaldo is making history with his goals. He is hungry and refreshed after being rested against Espanyol and Celta Vigo. But the crucial aspect will be midfield. In spite of Xabi Alonso's absence, I still see Real Madrid making the Decima dream come true.

Verdict: Real

RUSSIA - Editor in Chief, Igor Zelenitsyn

Atletico showed on Saturday that they can achieve big goals even without Diego Costa. Both Atleti and Real seem not to be on top form (at least, their recent results make us think that) and because of that it should come down to the quality of the teams as a unit - and Atleti is for sure the better team this season. They all act like a single unit without any weak points, while Real will be relying on their stars. When equal teams face each other stars often make the difference, but this time it will be resolved by the unity and solidarity of Atletico.

Verdict: Atletico

GERMANY – Freelance Football Expert, Julian Reusch

It will be a close match. But Real have a bigger chance to win. If Diego Costa really misses the final, it would be a big loss. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema are in excellent shape. But Atletico are unpleasant opponents with a great defence. Real absolutely want the title, Atletico may be satisfied with La Liga and therefore not completely focused. For me, it's Real's Decima.

Verdict: Real

EUROPEAN VERDICT

Real - 5 votes

Atletico - 1 votes

Who do you reckon will win tonight? Have your say below!

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