Champions League Final from a neutral’s point of view


Real Madrid are Champions of Europe for the eleventh time in their history and have erased the recent doubts over their fading status in European football. Los Blancos got the better of their rivals Atletico in a pulsating final last Saturday with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout.

It would not be unfair to say that in terms of support, Atletico were the favored side with almost entire Barcelona fan-base was with them. And as the game went along, Diego Simeone’s side gave a pretty decent account of themselves.

After being outplayed for first 45 minutes, second half was all about the lesser known side from Madrid. They hunted down Real’s players and looked threatening with Yannick Carrasco and Antoine Griezmann being constant threats going forward.

Their momentum saw them being the better team in extra time and were unlucky to have not scored the winning goal as well. While most of the neutrals were backing the perennial underdog in Atletico, they were also left impressed with Real Madrid’s classy performance.

Casemiro was a rock in midfield while Gareth Bale was their best player going forward. Bale looked menacing everytime he had the ball at his feet, however, it was a quiet night for Cristiano Ronaldo, which left many neutrals disappointed and wanting for more.

Zinedine Zidane was another factor in drawing bigger numbers for this season’s Champions League final. Zidane is a living legend and many neutrals must have tuned in to just watch him dictate the play from sidelines. Despite Zizou’s iconic presence, there were few instances from Real Madrid players which did not go well with the fans.

Not to mention, some of the play-acting from Pepe left a scar on otherwise an enthralling Champions League final. Another incident which had many fans arguing about was Cristiano’s celebration after scoring the final penalty.

Much like 2013-14 final, he took off his jersey to flaunt the insanely ripped body and lied down for over 5 minutes much to the delight and embrace from his teammates. As expected, next day’s newspapers were filled with his photos all over the back-pages, instead Sergio Ramos’ who scored the only goal or Gareth Bale, who was the best player on show.

As expected, the defeat and certainly the manner of it was tough to accept for Atletico Madrid players and supports alike. Juanfran was the guilty player who missed his penalty kick to hand over the title to Real Madrid.

Scenes were very emotional in the end with Fernando Torres, Antoine Griezmann, Gabi and Juanfran sobbing in tears and trying to console their fans. On all fronts, it was a very enjoyable Champions League final, and as they say at the end of the day, there has to be a winner and unfortunately a loser as well.

On the night, Atletico Madrid may have lost the Champions League final, but they certainly won a lot of hearts and with Diego Simeone in charge, sooner or later they will lift the Champions League trophy to eradicate the pains of 2014 and 2016 final defeats.

Image Credit: Getty