Even as Atlético Madrid celebrates their first league title since the 1970s, there is little doubt that the current La Liga champions have an eye firmly fixed on May 24th.
If they don’t, they probably should.
That’s the date that they will face local rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
The game will be played in Lisbon, Portugal.
Transplanting the game to Spain’s next door neighbor means that technically neither team will boast a home-field advantage.
However, there may be major factors at play that can influence the outcome of the Champions League final.
Atlético Madrid’s winning momentum
Atletico Madrid stun Barcelona, win first La Liga title in 18 years. @dermotmcorrigan http://t.co/MDSTpxpX13 pic.twitter.com/hKBUughixi
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 17, 2014
Winning the league for the first time in decades should not be underestimated in terms of emotional impact.
It is rare for a team to dominate both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in the league and come out on top. This season, Atlético managed to do just that.
Getting the upper hand at the close of the La Liga season could give them a major lift going into the CL final.
Atlético Madrid wins league title for 1st time since 1995-96 and snaps 9-year streak by Real Madrid or Barcelona pic.twitter.com/Wp1t6hLRGt
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 17, 2014
Cristiano Ronaldo: A Portuguese Treasure
Both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have players native to Portugal, however the biggest star in football will be featuring for the Whites. The desire to impress in his home country could raise Ronaldo’s game to an insane level.
Led by @Cristiano, @realmadrid hit 37 goals on the road to Lisbon. We map their journey: http://t.co/NuwOZ9iqcG pic.twitter.com/v7Pf1NxNBD
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 17, 2014
No Xabi Alonso In The Game
Xabi Alonso is a key piece of the Real Madrid midfield. This is no secret to La Liga fans. However, the lack of Alonso in the final could leave a big enough hole for Atlético to exploit if the Real team isn’t careful.
— RMFutbolOnline (@RMFutbol_es) May 15, 2014
Aletico Madrid has hardly ever been at this stage of the Champions League. If they win, it would be their first time ever. Meanwhile Real Madrid has been thirsting after “La Decima”, their tenth CL win, for close to a decade.
Now that both teams are on the verge of a historic victory, it’s possible that one or both may falter.
The team that wins will be the one that is able to swallow nerves and allow their sheer determination to get them the victory and end the season with a cup double.
Image via Wikimedia Commons