We have a Madrid team in the Champions League final and another one in the Europa League final – that’s something we can feel very happy and proud about. It’s prestigious for LaLiga and also for my home city, this old, sprawling village which became the capital of an empire simply because it was the central point of the peninsula; a town flanked by wonderful rural hunting terrain which has since been devoured by endless urban growth. Wherever you go in Madrid, football is talked about a lot and at length - and even more so now. People are asking how to find tickets, flights, discussing travel plans... Both clubs are snowed under – run off their feet organizing the trip, receiving all manner of requests and preparing the distribution of tickets for season ticket holders.
Both Madrid clubs start out as favourites
Only four cities: Glasgow, Liverpool, Milan and Madrid have had the pleasure of seeing two finalists from the same city in the same year. And out of them, only Milan claimed both trophies in the same season (1994), but only Madrid have achieved the feat more than once – this will be the third time it’s happened. In both of these finals, the Madrid clubs are the favourites - especially Atlético compared to Olympique de Marseille, whose odds are 1.36 to 3.05, while Real Madrid and Liverpool are listed at 1.69 and 2.14 respectively. If we are lucky enough to see both of the Madrid teams win, we will have a Madrid derby to look forward to in the European Super Cup on 15 August in Tallinn, a beautiful city which is well worth visiting at least once in your life, even when there is no big football match on. And there is nothing bigger or better than a Madrid derby.
Great effort involved to attend the final
Of course this is just speculation and we will have to wait and see if it happens – which won’t be easy – in the same way getting a ticket and organizing the trip won’t be cut and dried. Atleti have a shorter journey and going to the final will be cheaper but their match will be played on a Wednesday which means being granted time off work. For Madrid, the final is on a Saturday but Kiev is a long way, flights are expensive – not to mention hotels... It is night on impossible to book direct flights at this point in time and now fans will be looking for flights with stopovers or routes to Warsaw, Vilnius, Minsk or Chișinău to then complete the journey by hire car. Going to one of these finals will be a small odyssey, without any guarantees that the team will win - but then there are plenty of brave souls who are willing to make a financial and physical effort to be there – even with the risk of seeing their team defeated. That’s the power of football for you.