#UCL Preview: Madrid rivalry heads to Milan
Real Madrid’s star player Cristian Ronaldo gave manager Zidane a scare this after he limped out of training.
CAPE TOWN - A repeat of the Uefa Champions League (UCL) final of 2014 is set as a mouth-watering Madrid derby looms in Milan for European club football's biggest prize.
The match will pit greenhorn manager Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid against Diego 'Cholo' Simeone, the passionate Argentine of Atletico Madrid, who has constructed the most organised unit in Europe.
Real Madrid's star player Cristian Ronaldo gave manager Zidane a scare this after he limped out of training but the Portuguese, who has accrued 16 goals in the competition, declared himself fit but they will be without athletic young defender Raphael Varane.
No such issues for Atletico as Simeone has a full squad to choose from in a match that would be the pinnacle of his tenure at Atletico The former Argentine international's work at the club has been nothing short of spectacular, he has transformed the club from Real Madrid's ugly sister into a force to be reckoned having broken the Real-Barcelona monopoly of La Liga two years ago.
Real have had some fortune on their path to the final, they overcame Roma, Wolfsburg and Manchester City with a degree of luck. However, past form counts for nothing as they are still home to some of Europe's best talent with the likes of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric ready to dismantle any team, at any time.
Atletico Madrid will be desperate to expunge the memories of the painful loss in 2014, a win undoubtedly the only result that would facilitate that process.
Atletico's aggressively high octane approach has helped them defeat Benfica, Barcelona and Bayern Munich on the road to Milan. It's hard to argue that the club is undeserving of their place in European club footballs biggest showpiece.
Real will rely on Ronaldo for their goals, his sixteen strikes is the same amount that his opponents have scored as a team, but he will face a stern test against a resolute defence.
For Atletico, Antoine Griezmann is the main man on attack. The Frenchman has notched up seven goals in the competition and has blossomed into one of Europe's best finishers.
The match will essentially be about how Real's expensively assembled attack can breakdown the best defensive unit in Europe, that is the key battle as Simeone's men will be expected to sit deep and attempt to hit their local rivals on the counterattack.
An interesting statistic to note, since the defeat in the UCL final in 2014, Atletico have gone 10 matches undefeated against their biggest rivals.