Two teams from the same city triumphed in the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League semifinals this week. Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid topped Chelsea and Bayern Munich, respectively, setting up an “All-Madrid Final” on May 24 in Lisbon.
Head coach Carlo Ancelotti masterminded Real Madrid’s demolition of Bayern Munich, putting superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates within touching distance of the big prize. Real Madrid has won club soccer’s elite competition a record nine times but hasn’t claimed the European Cup since 2002. While the Spanish giant is obsessed with reclaiming its continental throne, it must first claim local bragging rights if it is to do so.
Atletico Madrid reached its first European Cup final in 40 years with an impressive victory over Chelsea. Head coach Diego Simeone turned a group of unheralded talents, cast-offs and misfits into Europe’s hungriest team and a genuine force at home and abroad. Can Simeone’s Atletico Madrid complete the fairytale and prolong its bitter rival’s suffering?
NESN.com soccer editor Marcus Kwesi O’Mard and Sam Borden, the New York Times’ European sports correspondent, look back on the Champions League semifinals and preview the final in this podcast.
Photo via Twitter/@FOXSoccer