2016 Champions League PreviewThis weekend in Milan sees the final of the 2016 Champions League between two rivals from Madrid: Atlético and Real. This is the second final in which these two teams have faced each other in three years with Real defeating Atlético after extra time  in 2014. Can Atlético gain some revenge this time round? Will Real Madrid win their 11th European title? Listen to the report by clicking below, while explanations of key vocabulary (in bold) can be found at the bottom of the post.

2016 Champions League Preview

European Cup/Champions League History

No club in European football can top Real Madrid’s number of European Cup titles – they have 10 in total which is 3 more than Italian powerhouse AC Milan. Real won their last title in 2014 when they ran out winners against this year’s opponents Atlético Madrid – coming from behind to eventually win 4-1 in extra time. That was the second consecutive loss for Atlético in a Champions League final as they had previously lost to German side Bayern Munich in 1974 in a replay after a 1-1 draw. So, can it be third time lucky for Atlético or will they become the first team to lose their first three European Cup/Champions League finals?

Road to Milan

Both sides comfortably qualified from the group stage with Atlético topping their group ahead of Benfica and Galatasaray, while Real Madrid also won their group by beating Paris Saint-Germain and Shakhtar Donetsk. In the knock-out rounds, Real’s road to Milan was arguably easier than their crosstown rival’s as they faced Roma, Wolfsburg and Manchester City; Atlético, on the other hand, knocked out Dutch team PSV Eindhoven, holders Barcelona and favourites Bayern Munich.

Recent Form

For many years Real Madrid were seen as a bogey side for Atlético; indeed Atleti failed to beat los blancos in 22 matches after their promotion from the second division in 2002. That has all changed in recent years as Atlético, under manager Simeone, have won four and drawn two of the last six league matches against Real, while they have also beaten them in a Spanish Cup final. Of course, they lost out to Real in the Champions League final two years ago but their recent form against their more illustrious rivals means they no longer have an inferiority complex.

The Managers

Both managers are seen as legends of their respective clubs. Atlético‘s Diego Simeone played for the club in their double-winning season of 1995-96 and then returned to manage the side to more glory: the Europa League title of 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2013 and the Spanish league title in 2014 and, of course, taking them to the Champions league final two years ago. Zinedine Zidane represented Real Madrid over 150 times as a player and he won the Champions League with them in 2002 thanks to one of the greatest ever goals in a final. He has only been in charge since January of this year but he has taken the club to its 14th Champions League final as well as finishing second in the league – one place above Atlético.


Well, it is going to be a cagey affair with Real hoping that their flair players will be able to break down one of the most disciplined sides in football. Just like the 2014 final this one could go to extra time but this time I think Atlético will overcome Real and take their first ever Champions League title.

Let us know what you think will happen in this weekend’s Champions League final by posting a comment below.


top: Can beat

powerhouse: A traditionally strong side

they ran out winners: They beat a team; they won

the second consecutive loss: Their second defeat in a row

arguably: It could be argued, we feel/think

Atleti: The nickname of Atlético Madrid

los blancos: The nickname of Real Madrid

more illustrious rival: Their more well-known rivals

an inferiority complex: To feel as if they are not as good as someone

their flair players: Their more attacking/skillful players (Ronaldo and Bale for example)

If you want to know more about a particular area of football language leave a comment below. You can also subscribe here to receive our selection of football clichés and of course you can check out our huge list of football vocabulary here.

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

2015-16Episode 304
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