How Madrid and Atlético have changed since 2014

Real Madrid and Atlético are not quite the same sides that met in the 2014 final; UEFA.com's Madrid reporter Joseph Walker takes a look at how they have changed.

Sergio Ramos scores Real Madrid's late equaliser
Sergio Ramos scores Real Madrid's late equaliser ©Getty Images

Two years is not such a long time, but Real Madrid and Atlético have made key changes since their 2014 final meeting in Lisbon; UEFA.com's Madrid reporter Joseph Walker breaks them down.

Personnel
Both sides have chopped and changed over the past 24 months, with only 13 of the 22 starters from Lisbon still at their respective sides.

With seven, Real Madrid retain the core of their triumphant team with all four goalscorers – Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo – still at the club. Midfield is the area where they have seen the most changes, with Toni Kroos and Casemiro taking over from the departed Sami Khedira and Ángel Di María. Meanwhile, Keylor Navas has replaced Iker Casillas between the sticks.

Highlights of the 2014 final
Highlights of the 2014 final

Atlético go into the game with a much-changed squad but, crucially, a clean bill of health. Back in 2014, key player Arda Turan missed out altogether while Diego Costa (who limped off in the opening ten minutes) and Filipe Luís (withdrawn in the closing stages of normal time) felt the effects of a long, hard campaign in which Atlético took the league title on the final day of the season, a week before Lisbon.

This time round, a fortnight break after the culmination of the Liga campaign means both teams have adequate time to rest and recuperate before the showdown in Milan.

Sergio Ramos: My magic moment
Sergio Ramos: My magic moment

The men in charge
Carlo Ancelotti led Real Madrid to their Décima, playing a predominantly counterattacking brand of football spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema. However a trophyless 2014-15 campaign meant the Italian was shown the door at the Santiago Bernabéu and replaced by Rafael Benítez at the start of this season. The 56-year-old lasted just under seven months before being replaced by Zinédine Zidane.

In contrast, Atlético have been a model of stability with Diego Simeone having been in charge since 2011, instilling a strong team ethic and 'game-by-game' philosophy to transform the Rojiblancos into one of Europe's elite sides.

Simeone wary of Madrid threat
Simeone wary of Madrid threat

Tactics
Defensive solidity is synonymous with Simeone's Atlético. They are built on strong foundations at the back and, like they were in 2014, are a side that like to soak up pressure and hit on the break: something Bayern Munich will attest to. While Antoine Griezmann, Yannick Carrasco and Fernando Torres are a much different prospect to Diego Costa, David Villa and Raúl García, the principal idea is very much the same.

Ditto Madrid; Zidane has not made sweeping changes since taking over. They favour a setup which allows them to exploit the pace and movement of Bale, Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Luka Modrić still pulls the strings in the midfield, but Kroos's presence means they are more comfortable and controlled in possession.

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