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3 key players for Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Final against Atlético

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What can Zidane's men do to break Simeone's wall?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Playing against Atlético de Madrid is never easy. You need a good transition defense and also plenty of creativity to create dangerous opportunities against them. Real Madrid have the tools needed to beat their neighbors and conquer their 11th European title, but coach Zinedine Zidane is the man who has to give them freedom to operate if he wants to be successful in Milan.

  1. Marcelo. There's no other player like Marcelo, whose creativity and ability to catch the defenders off guard is extremely valuable against such a solid team like Atlético. Marcelo changed the course of the game in Lisbon two years ago when he came off the bench, but this time he will start and his influence should be even bigger as he will be a key player if Los Blancos want to dismantle Simeone's defense.
  2. Isco. He is not expected to start, as Casemiro has all but secured a spot in the Starting XI, but Isco can still come off the bench like he did in Lisbon to keep the ball and create more chances. Both Isco and Marcelo have the ability to dribble past opponents without needing space to run, and this is something Zidane must use if Madrid can't find the way to create chances.
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo. He can score goals out of nowhere, and needless to say that is a crucial skill in a Champions League Final. Ronaldo doesn't need to play well to have a big impact on the game and he will always be a threat on set pieces (corner-kicks, free-kicks) and also in open play. If Real find a way through one of Ronaldo's "free" goals off set pieces, they will just need to take care of business later.