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UEFA Youth League final preview: Benfica vs Real Madrid

Benfica play Real Madrid in the UEFA Youth League final on Tuesday in Nyon.

Benfica and Real Madrid pose together on the pitch ahead of the final
Benfica and Real Madrid pose together on the pitch ahead of the final UEFA

A new name will go on the Lennart Johansson Trophy on Tuesday when Benfica take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Youth League final in Nyon.

Where to watch the final

The usual four-team April finals in Nyon were postponed to become a ten-team August tournament and this will be Madrid's fourth game at the Colovray Stadium, starting with their delayed round of 16 encounter against Juventus. On Saturday, Madrid won a semi-final at the fourth attempt while Benfica are in their third decider. The Eagles lost their two previous finals, coincidentally after beating Madrid in the 2014 and 2017 semis.

  • Benfica are within one title match of Chelsea's record of four finals.
  • Real Madrid have the competition record for games played (61), wins (39) and goals (159).
  • Benfica's Pedro Álvaro set a new record in the quarter-finals with his 28th competition appearance. He was an unused sub in the 2017 final against Salzburg.
  • Raúl González hopes to become the second person to be part of a UEFA Champions League-winning squad as a player and then lift the UEFA Youth League as coach: Mário Silva, in charge of Porto last year, featured in their successful 2003/04 senior campaign.
  • Both of these clubs have figured in all seven editions of this competition.

What the players say

Gonçalo Ramos, Benfica forward: "I’d be extremely proud [to win the trophy]. It’s probably the biggest achievement for a player of our age, and it’s always important to win trophies which is what we want."

Pedro Álvaro, Benfica defender: "These are two historic clubs, two of the strongest teams in Europe. Madrid have dangerous players, but it will be a close game. I think there will be goals. We're a team that likes to play good, attacking football – we've scored in all our matches until now and we're a team that likes to score goals, as are Madrid. It has all the makings of a great game."

Miguel Gutiérrez, Real Madrid defender: "The two best teams are in the final. Benfica are a really tough opponent, but we’ll try to maximise our qualities in order to win the game. This team’s strength is its unity, and all the players have the mindset that no individual is as good as the collective. In a way, that’s what’s got us to the final. Real Madrid need to have this trophy in their cabinet."

Highlights: Salzburg 1-2 Real Madrid

Antonio Blanco, Real Madrid midfielder: "It will be the first time that I play in a Youth League final, and the pressure is always there. It's an important competition because we have been working hard all season for this. We all know that [coach] Raúl [González] has played in some big European matches, so who better to help us prepare for such a big match and to keep us focused on the game. There is no one better than him to help us."

Road to the final

Benfica: Group G winners (W5 D0 L1 F17 A6), 4-1 Liverpool (R16, h), 3-1 Dinamo Zagreb (QF, Nyon), 3-0 Ajax (SF, Nyon)

Highlights: Benfica 3-0 Ajax

Real Madrid: Group A winners (W4 D1 L1 F16 A10), 3-1 Juventus (R16, Nyon), 3-0 Inter (QF, Nyon), 2-1 Salzburg (SF, Nyon)

Previous finals

2019: Porto 3-1 Chelsea
2018: Barcelona 3-0 Chelsea
2017: Salzburg 2-1 Benfica
2016: Chelsea 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain
2015: Chelsea 3-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
2014: Barcelona 3-0 Benfica