Madrid — There's more to Atletico Madrid than just a good
Although it will be Real Madrid's powerful attack against
Atletico Madrid's notoriously tough defensive setup on Saturday in the
Champions League final, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said his team will have to
be prepared to play well on both sides of the field.
"It's one of these matches in which anything can
happen, it will be very complicated." Zidane said Tuesday. "We are
not talking about a team that only defends well. It's a very complete team. It
knows how to play. It can create a lot of difficulty to the opponent when it
has the ball."
Atletico made it to the final in Milan carried by Diego
Simeone's trademark defense, but it also impressed with its strikers up front.
Atletico scored two goals in the matches against Bayern Munich in the
semifinals and three goals against defending champion Barcelona in the
"We know that it's a team with great players all
around," Real Madrid left back Marcelo said. "They have great
strikers who have been scoring against everybody recently. We will have to be
Real Madrid defender Pepe added: "It's unfair to
highlight only one aspect of Atletico's game. They play well as a team."
Atletico's offense has been led by veteran striker Fernando
Torres and 25-year-old Antoine Griezmann, the France forward who scored three
goals in the team's last three Champions League matches. Griezmann scored seven
of the team's 16 goals in the European tournament this season.
"The forwards came through when we needed to come
through for the team," Griezmann said. "We have been playing
Also read: Ronaldo fit for Champions League final - Zidane
Real Madrid's offense has also thrived, and the team enters
the final in Milan having scored 27 goals in 12 games, only three goals less
than Bayern Munich.
Cristiano Ronaldo alone has 16 goals, one shy of the record
for most goals he set in 2013-14.
But Zidane's squad also impressed on defense, conceding a
tournament-low five goals, two less than Atletico.
"We have been playing well on defense and on offense,"
Real Madrid defensive midfielder Casemiro said. "It will be a good
Real Madrid defeated Atletico 4-1 in the 2014 Champions
League final, a match in which it was trailing until the final minute of
regulation time. But Atletico beat its crosstown rival 1-0 at the Santiago
Bernabeu Stadium that last time the teams played against each other earlier
this year. The teams drew 1-1 at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in October in
their first Spanish league encounter of the season.
Real Madrid will be trying to win its 11th Champions League
title, while Atletico is seeking its first.For
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