Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo will be the centre of attention, however, much like his rival, Lionel Messi, the Portuguese international has been outshone by team-mate Gareth Bale, Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann and Barca’s Luis Suarez this La Liga season.
Whether the formidable duo are on the decline, or Bale, Griezmann and Suarez are close to reaching that next level, is yet to be determined. But the final at San Siro will go a long way in demonstrating whether Bale is ready to replace CR7 as the Madrid golden boy and whether Griezmann is the latest superstar in the Atletico Madrid production line.
Griezmann has found the back of the net 22 times in La Liga this season from 38 games – only not playing 376 minutes of Atletico’s La Liga campaign. In comparison, Bale has 19 goals from a total 23 appearances totalling 1735 minutes.
Five goals from set-pieces for both players, goals using both feet, scoring from outside the area and inside the area, the pair can score a wide range of goals. However, Bale’s quite remarkable nine headed goals in La Liga this season is head and shoulders above the French international.
Real Madrid are a free-flowing, attacking force, whereas, Atletico pride themselves on defensive structure and suffocating teams. That’s represented in the fact that Bale has had 81 shots from 23 games, and Griezmann has only had 92 in 38 games.
Griezmann’s efficiency in front of goal is the most important attribute to the way Diego Simeone sets up his sides. If you don’t have a striker who is clinical from his 2.4 chances he has per game, then the defensive solidity is pointless.
Bale’s freedom, knowing that he’ll get over 3.5 chances per games means that, at the moment, his poor conversion rate of shots to goals and accuracy (51%) isn’t an issue for the Los Blancos. If Bale is to kick on and become *the* Real Madrid Galactico, then the former Spurs man will need to fine tune his success in front of goal.
Clean through on goal…
Picture this, your team is clean through on goal, one-on-one, in the final seconds of the Champions League Final. Score this, and you’ll beloved team will lift the trophy.
Who would you rather was racing through?