Wednesday, May 28, 2014

UEFA Champions League final 2014

Si se puede - but it was Real close.

24th May 2014 Real Madrid 4 Atletico Madrid 1  Champions League final in Lisbon. 60, 976

‘Anything is possible with Simeone’ the Atletico fan told me outside the Estadio da Luz.

Well nearly.

They came in 135 aeroplanes and on eight hour bus rides from the Spanish capital to see the first ‘derby’ final in Champions League history.

We chose a route via the less exotic delights of Stansted to Porto and a steady drive south.

Where it was comfortable enough to park the car and relax in the shopping centre pre-game.

Inside the Estadio perhaps the historic implications got to the players as the match, though  always intriguing, lacked quality.

You could admire the heroic Atletico defending but worry about the way they gave the ball away.
You might expect Real Madrid to be more fluent and though there were snatches of sparkling play mostly they fizzled out.

For much of the time it looked like Atletico would prevail after they benefited from a Casillas first half error.
But Sergio Ramos headed the very late equaliser and Los Blancos then surged ahead in extra time thanks to Bale, Marcelo and Ronaldo.

It was obviously hard on Atletico but definitely deserved.

As to the crowd - I thought the choreo was moderate - surely they could up something better than ‘vamos Real’ - although, perhaps surprisingly, there was some pyro.
And the Atletico fans seem to make more noise (and they stayed, despite the defeat, to appreciate their teams’ efforts) although our seats were much nearer their end.

However it was undoubtedly an historic night in the Estadio da Luz and you could see how much the victory meant to the Real Madrid contingent.
Being one quarter Welsh I was glad Gareth Bale played his part and, incidentally, it would be nice to see more British players venturing abroad.

We stayed for the presentations and eventually travelled back to Fatima for an overnight stay and a visit to the famous sanctuary, with the other pilgrims, the next morning.

more pictures at

No comments: