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Real Madrid Vs Atletico - Pre-game News, Notes, And Quotes

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Some reading to tide you over for the next 24 hours

Clive Rose/Getty Images

We're less than 24 hours away. Chances are, those are going to be some long hours for most of you, so here's some reading to tide you over.

Yesterday, we summarized your homework from the past week or so, and today we're going to add more to your reading list before the the biggest match of the season.

Let's get to some pre-game news, notes, and quotes.

Zinedine Zidane

"When the match begins I'll be more tense, but that's usual. It's part of the coaching job and I like it," the Frenchman said.
"I like this kind of pressure. I've experienced it as a player, but as a coach it's completely different.

"Carlo Ancelotti used to tell me that often, before the final in Lisbon he said to me 'I hope you get to experience this some day as coach' and, well, here we and I keep thinking of Carlo."

"I think we're a bit better in every dimension, but in a final that's meaningless really," he said. "I'm happy because we've done a huge job in the meantime and I really, really believe in hard work.

"The players have done an amazing job, now we have a final ahead of us. We just have to give our all and tomorrow we'll see what happens but we know we're ready.

"They [Atletico] do well against everyone, not just Real Madrid. We know how they're working, there's a good reason why they're in the final. They're doing a really good job and the same applies to us.

"Tomorrow there's a match on and let's see who wins it."

On Ronaldo's fitness...

"He was feeling a bit of pain but now he's 100 percent I would say," the Frenchman said.

"On top of that, he's playing in a final. When you're playing in a final if you were feeling anything you would forget it. It's a bit of pain but it's nothing and [on Saturday] he'll be there 100 percent."

Atletico Madrid captain Gabi is not looking back to that 2014 collapse

"It's important to be here again, the past is not worth considering," he said during Friday's media conference.

"We've beaten Madrid so many times in a row, that's the past for us and you can only value us on what we do tomorrow.
"The team fought until the end, it was a hard defeat, but we have hope and we're happy to have a new chance.

"What we've achieved is very difficult. Tomorrow is another opportunity, the final in Lisbon is a reflection of what Atletico Madrid aspire to.

"We have the experience to beat Real Madrid and tomorrow we'll try to do exactly that. We trust in our players, coaches and fans. With their support I'm sure we'll achieve it."

"Madrid always play these games at a very high level," he said. "They have experience at these types of games and lots of playing resources.

"Tomorrow is going to be the most difficult game we've played against them in the past three years. We're facing the best possible rival and there's nothing better than to win the Champions League when you beat one of the best.

"I've dreamt of this since I was a little kid. For us it's the most important game in our lives. I'm convinced tomorrow will be the most important and when you dream, you dream big and tomorrow is a big day for all of us."

Fernando Torres hints to this being the biggest game of his life

"It means everything, everything you dream of when you are a kid," he said at Friday's media conference ahead of the showdown at San Siro.

"I have the chance to make this dream come true. I've played for great teams, but this one is special, it's just what I wanted when I was a kid.

"I had the chance to come back to the club, they gave me the chance to fight for what I really wanted.

"I fight for a place in the team and to score goals again and to be an important player so tomorrow is the game of my life, without doubt.

"There's no doubt that this is the most important game I'll play ever. I'm very happy to play with this club, I started when I was five.

"I had the luck of winning with Chelsea and with the Spanish national team but this is something very special to me."

Simeone adds fuel to the eternal Managing Madrid debate, stating that Casemiro is key for Real Madrid. Either that, or he really wants to convince Zidane not to play Isco

"It's going to be a very tense, balanced game. The presence of Casemiro gives them the possibility of regrouping better if they lose the ball.

"Casemiro makes Madrid very dangerous on the counter-attack. If you give them space they're very dangerous."

"The club, the players, it's reinventing itself continuously," he said. "And that's what's most valuable in this club. Everyone works with the idea of continuing to grow, you try and try again and if you continue you eventually get what you want.

"To play a final is fantastic, to win it... there is nothing better. It makes you continue to prepare yourself for these moments.

"Not change the structure or the identity, but repeat, repeat, repeat and you can achieve things.

"I think the continuity in the successes the club has had positions you a lot better as one of the best clubs in Europe.

"Few teams are better - perhaps Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid - but there's an idea about how we work and that's what allows us to be in this privileged position.

"The only way of maintaining that is by winning."

Match Facts, via Eurosport

  • Real Madrid have reached the Champions League/European Cup final for the 14th time, more than any other team. They have won 10 of those - also a record, including the last four (1998, 2000, 2002, 2014).
  • Atlético Madrid have reached the Champions League/European Cup final for the third time (1974, 2014, 2016). They have so far lost their previous two finals (v Bayern Munich after a replay in 1974; v Real Madrid after extra-time in 2014).
  • This is the third time in the last four years that the Champions League final has been contested by teams from the same nation (Germany 2013, Spain 2014, Spain 2016).
  • 2016 included, Madrid have now made 17 appearances in the Champions League/European Cup final (14 for Real, 3 for Atlético), more than any other city (Milan has 16).
  • There will be a Spanish winner of the Champions League/European Cup for the third consecutive season, the longest run for a single nation since English clubs won it six times in a row from 1977 to 1982.
  • Atlético have won seven of their last 16 games against Real Madrid, in all competitions (5 draws, 4 losses). They had failed to win any of their previous 25 games against Real (6 draws, 19 losses).
  • Real Madrid have won only two of their last 12 competitive games against Atlético, but both wins have come in the Champions League (4-1 after extra-time in the 2014 final; 1-0 in last season's quarter-final second leg).
  • Real Madrid have won all three of their Champions League/European Cup ties against Atlético: 1959 semi-final (over three games), 2014 final (after extra-time), 2015 quarter-final (1-0 on aggregate).
  • The last four competitive games between Real and Atlético have produced only four goals (2 each).
  • The three previous Champions League/European Cup finals held at the San Siro have never been decided by more than one clear goal (1965, 1970, 2001), the last two going to extra-time.
  • Real Madrid have kept 10 clean sheets (in 12 games) in the Champions League this season, which equals the record in the competition (Arsenal in 2005/06).
  • Real Madrid have scored 27 goals in this season's Champions League, only three fewer than top scorers Bayern Munich (30 goals) and 11 more than Atlético. They've also conceded only five goals, the best defensive record this season and two fewer than their Madrid rivals.
  • Atlético have kept 15 clean sheets in their last 21 Champions League games, including four in six knockout games this season.
  • Atlético have registered under 30% possession in each of their last four Champions League games (26% and 23% v Barcelona; 26% and 27% v Bayern Munich).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored/assisted 74% of Real Madrid's goals in this season's competition (20 out of 27). He's only one goal away from the Champions League record for most goals in a Champions League campaign, a record he currently holds (17 in 2013/14).
  • Ronaldo could become only the second player to score in three different Champions League/European Cup finals after Alfredo Di Stéfano, who did it in five finals.
  • Karim Benzema has failed to find the net in his last four Champions League games; only once has he gone on a longer drought in this competition (five games, December 2009-November 2010).
  • Toni Kroos has completed 554 passes in the opposition half, more than any other player in this season's Champions League.
  • Keylor Navas has kept 11 clean sheets in 12 games in his Champions League career. He's also saved 31 of the 33 shots on target he's faced in the competition.
  • Jan Oblak has made 37 saves in this season's Champions League, the joint-most alongside Manuel Neuer. 23 of his saves (62%) have come in the last four games.
  • Antoine Griezmann has been directly involved in 50% of Atlético's goals in the Champions League this season, scoring seven and assisting one of Los Colchoneros' 16 goals.
  • Diego Godin has made more interceptions (37) and defensive clearances (71) than any other player in this season's Champions League.
  • This is the third season in a row in which a manager has reached the Champions League final in his first season in the competition (Diego Simeone 2014, Luis Enrique 2015, Zinedine Zidane 2016).
  • Zidane could become the seventh man to win the Champions League/European Cup both as a player and as a manager after Miguel Muñoz, Giovanni Trapattoni, Johan Cruyff, Carlo Ancelotti, Frank Rijkaard and Josep Guardiola.
  • In three seasons as manager in the Champions League, Diego Simeone has taken Atlético Madrid to the final in 2014, quarter-finals in 2015 and final again in 2016.