UEFA Champions League final updates: 16-22 May

The latest from Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid ahead of the final in Milan

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Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid will both be back in next season's group stage – find out who else will be joining them as leagues come to an end across Europe.

Cristiano Ronaldo is almost certain to finish second in the ESM Golden Shoe after his two goals in Real Madrid's final league game of the season – with Barcelona's Luis Suárez taking the prize.

Suárez took his tally for the 2016/17 league campaign to 40 goals – equivalent to 80 points in the ESM rankings – with a hat-trick at Granada that helped Barcelona hold off Madrid to win the Spanish title on Saturday. Ronaldo managed two goals as Madrid won 2-0 at Deportivo, and finishes with 35 over the season.

Karim Benzema, with 24 league goals, is the other Real Madrid player in the top 20, while UEFA Champions League final opponents Atlético Madrid are represented by Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman's 22 goals (44 points) left him in 15th place in the ESM rankings.

ESM Golden Shoe standings
1 Luis Suárez (Barcelona) 40 goals x 2 points = 80 points
2 Gonzalo Higuaín (Napoli) 36 x 2 = 72
3 Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 35 x 2 = 70
4 Jonas (Benfica) 32 x 2 = 64
5 Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München) 30 x 2 = 60
6 Zlatan Ibrahimović (Paris Saint-Germain) 38 x 1,5 = 57
7 Islam Slimani (Sporting Clube de Portugal) 27 x 2 = 54
8 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 26 x 2 = 52
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) 25 x 2 = 50
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 25 x 2 = 50
11 Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) 24 x 2 = 48
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 24 x 2 = 48
Neymar (Barcelona) 24 x 2 = 48
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) 24 x 2 = 48
15 Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid) 22 x 2 = 44
16 Nemanja Nikolic (Legia Warszawa) 28 x 1,5 = 42
17 Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar) 27 x 1,5 = 40,5
Eran Zahavi (Maccabi Tel-Aviv) 27 x 1,5 = 40,5
19 Aritz Adúriz (Athletic Bilbao) 20 x 2 = 40
Thomas Müller (Bayern München) 20 x 2 = 40

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The final is capturing attention around Europe; in Croatia, former Real Madrid midfielder Robert Prosinečki says that the key Atlético player is their coach Diego Simeone. "Really, I need to bow to him for everything he has achieved in Champions League and for reaching the final again," said Prosinečki. "That is the miracle!"

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Now the Liga season is over, there is naturally only one thing on the minds of Atlético and Real Madrid: the UEFA Champions League final in Milan on 28 May.

"I'm only thinking about you" runs the cover of newspaper Marca. AS, meanwhile, looks at Madrid's stunning run under Zinédine Zidane, noting that Madrid took more points than Atlético and champions Barcelona since the Frenchman took charge in January.

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Antoine Griezmann will be the highest-profile member of France's UEFA EURO 2016 squad to feature in the Milan final and – having scored 22 league goals for Atlético this season – a UEFA Champions League triumph could put the 25-year-old in the frame for individual awards too.

"I don't care about those comparisons," Griezmann said on French TV show Canal Football Club on Saturday night. "I try to do my job on the pitch. I think I've brought it to another level in the Champions League. I scored seven goals and lived up expectations in key moments."

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Croatia coach Ante Čačić will be in the middle of preparations for UEFA EURO 2016 on the night of the UEFA Champions League final, but he will give his players a day off. "I'm going to watch the final in Milan," said the Croatia coach, who will be backing Real Madrid to triumph.

"I really hope Luka [Modrić] and Mateo [Kovačić] will take the trophy. It's not a problem for us missing these two for the first part of our preparations. After all, how can fitting Luka Modrić into the team be a problem?"

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Real Madrid closed the Liga campaign with a 12th straight victory and in doing so Zinédine Zidane recorded the club's best ever points total for a manager after his first 20 games. Since succeeding Rafael Benítez at the start of January, Zidane has guided Real to 17 wins from 20 games, two draws and just one defeat, against UEFA Champions League final opponents Atlético.

Zidane's Madrid have picked up 53 points from a possible 60, eclipsing the previous record of 52 from 20 games set by Juande Ramos' Madrid in 2008/09. Their goal difference of +47 is far superior under Zidane to Ramos' +29 and is also a club record.

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Big boost for Atlético ahead of what they hope will be their UEFA Champions League title defence next season ...

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has confessed he will be willing compatriot Diego Simeone to victory in the Champions League final. "I don't know who’s going to win the Champions League but I want Atlético to win it," Martino told ESPN. "Atlético are a loyal reflection of what Simeone was like as a player.

"I'm astonished by how quickly Simeone gets his players around to his way of playing, he is always active and his players take on his energy and play with so much belief. It's not easy to keep up a style of play over time but Simeone has done it over four years."

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Lucas Vázquez gets back into the swing of things at training after returning from injury....

Atlético Madrid's motto this season is "don't stop believing" and Fernando Torres believes that has filtered through to the club's supporters ahead of the final.

"I've not seen a single Atlético fan with any doubt; they are proud of their team and we're stronger together," Torres said. "Now we have the most difficult game we'll ever play. We can do something new. All the fans I see are happy and excited about this fantastic opportunity."

"It's an opportunity that you don't get very often. Two finals in three years was unimaginable. We have the chance to write a page that still hasn't been written in this club's history and we feel very privileged about that. We want a happy ending this time. We have dreamed about this moment all our lives."

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Atlético Madrid have announced that midfielder Tiago has signed a one-year contract extension. The Portuguese, who has missed the majority of the season with a broken leg suffered in November, made his comeback in last weekend's final day victory over Celta Vigo.

Atlético Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been speaking to the media today ahead of next next weekend's UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid and has reserved special words of praise for star striker Antoine Griezmann. "He has worked very hard, pushed himself and knows how to listen," he said. "The best way to improve in any job is to listen. Without doubt he is one of the best three players in the world." Griezmann has scored 22 goals in 38 Liga appearances this season.

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Real Madrid have announced that centre-back Raphaël Varane has suffered an injury in training ahead of next Saturday's UEFA Champions League final against city rivals Atlético. The defender now faces a race against time to be fit for next weekend's showpiece in Milan.

Real Madrid coach Zinédine Zidane on the meeting with city rivals Atlético in Milan:

We know how difficult an achievement the Champions League is. It is never an easy journey, but you can say that we have reached our first objective. Now our aim is to do everything we can to win it.

It will be a very complicated game. They will defend well, as always. However, you can't say that Atlético is a team that only defends. They also play good football and they make things hard for their opponents. We are aware of that, we are preparing and we will try to play our game so that we don't have any regrets afterwards.

Atlético defender Diego Godín on inspirational coach Diego Simeone:

Simeone always knows how to give the right message or speech that the team needs. He knows what to say in every moment, and that is the most difficult thing for a coach. The most emotional I can remember were the second leg against Barcelona and the first game against Bayern.

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This blog is closing down, but our coverage of the build-up to Saturday's UEFA Champions League final will resume on Monday.


Elvir Islamović, Zagreb

Joseph Walker, Madrid


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