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Final Champions League

Real - Atletico Madrid

Roncero: Eleven reasons why Real Madrid are going to win the Undécima

1. History

Kings of Europe. We have won ten and everyone who knows football knows that ten more are on the way in the future. That regal domination is in the mind of all rivals for the throne. Real Madrid's trophy room, a hall of honours, can win you matches.

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2. Final Specialists

Since that 1-0 defeat in Paris in 1981 against Liverpool, Real haven't lost a final. Amsterdam, Paris, Glasgow and Lisbon: Séptima, Octava, Novena and Décima. No mistakes. That's the heritage of triumph, Real Madrid don't buckle under the brightest lights, they flourish, pressure is just motivation to los blancos.

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3. Zidane's Smile

The man from Marseilles has rescued this season, and brought the joy back to a team who follow him like the Pied Piper. The players look at him like an idol, not like a manager.

Photo: Stefano Rellandini REUTERS

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4. Peak Cristiano

If the Madeiran machine is with you, who can be against you? It's always there, that feeling that he can win you the match at any moment. Godín is a wall, but Cristiano is dam-buster. The San Siro is the scene set for the man who's scored 16 goals in this season's Champions League already, (As many as Atletico's entire team has managed), and in Milan he'll go all out to beat his own personal record of 17 in a single season. He's insatiable. Cristiano helps me sleep better when I think about May 28.

Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE AFP

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5. The War of Nerves

Atleti will be racked with anxiety because they know that history is against them, that the cup has yet to meet Vicente Calderón, that things go against them the way they did in Lisbon, the way they did in Heysel in 1974. Madrid have an Oxford degree in managing these high-pressure situations, Atleti is trying to break into the European elite, and it shows.

Photo: DANIEL DAL ZENNARO EFE

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6. The Ramos Effect

It's a question of psychology. When Torres and Griezmann see the Andalusian central defender they have terrifying flashbacks to Lisbon, 3 minutes into extra time. I understand. For them, Ramos must be like the 'bogey man' they warned us about when we were kids, hiding in wardrobes, lurking under the bed.

Photo: Michael Regan Getty Images

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7. The magic of Luka Modric

Modric will be like Zidane in in the San Siro. His football is pure poetry. Gustavo and Gabi have their work cut out to stop the Croatian conjurer.

Photo: RAFA APARICIO DIARIO AS

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8. Hurricane Bale

He's saved the best 'til last, finishing the season in his best form since arriving at the casa blanca. He's matured, he believes, and he's coming up with the moments that count. He returns to the San Siro, where he scored that memorable hat-trick for Spurs and really himself on the Real radar, eviscerating a hapless Maicon. The moment has arrived to resurrect that performance. Gareth, your dream final is here, the world is at your feet.

Photo: Stefano Rellandini REUTERS

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9. Keylor and Casemiro

The answer to Madrid's most pressing problems earlier in the season, Casemiro brought balance and security. The Costa Rican goalkeeper and the Brazilian defensive midfielder (Real's only defensive midfielder) have been the solutions this season, and both have had an outstanding campaign. They call Keylor "the happiest goalkeeper on the planet", and with the way he's played, should anyone be surprised?

Photo: TT NEWS AGENCY REUTERS

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10. The Bench

Madrid have people like Lucas Vazquez, James, Isco or Jese who can come on and make a difference in the final half-hour. Skillful, technically gifted players that take defenders on and provide that moment of inspiration when the team most needs one. Atleti are much more limited in this respect, Carrasco and little more...

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11. Minute 93

No explanation required here. Just a sweet memory of a retreating enemy foiled at the very last. I advocate this time for a goal in the 92nd, Lisbon was just too cruel.

Photo: JESUS RUBIO DIARIO AS

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