Tonight, Lisbon`s Estadio da Luz will command undivided attention of football fans from across the globe as Real Madrid take on city rivals, Atletico Madrid in the final of the 2013-14 edition of the UEFA Champions League. Will Cristiano Ronaldo help deliver a record tenth European Cup on his return to Lisbon? Or will Diego Simeone prove to be the ultimate giant killer by guiding Atletico to a historic double? Nobody can tell. But what we can tell you for sure, are 5 things that you definitely didn`t know about the 2014 Champions Leaggue Final. So here we go.
Ol` Big Ears
Yes, that`s precisely why the city of Madrid will be split right through the middle come the final. The European Cup, affectionately called "big ears" is undoubtedly the holy grail of European club football. The shape of the handles on the beautiful trophy is the reason why it attained this nickname. Since the 2013-14 final is an all Spanish affair, so "La Orejona" is what the trophy will be referred to by both sets of fans.
Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Before every Champions League match, fans and players are treated to the goosebumps inducing chorus of the "Champions League" anthem. The anthem, is an adaptation of Handel`s Zadok the Priest and has been arranged by Tony Britten. However, since the final is not just another match, UEFA has roped in Rodrigo Y Gabriela, the Spanish duo who will showcase their new single – "The Soundmaker" in a live performance during the opening credits of the program.
La Decima simply means "The Tenth". It is a term that represents the obsession of all Madridistas with winning their tenth European Cup or UEFA Champions League trophy. The most successful team in world football has not won the competition for 12 years now. Zinedine Zidane scored one of the greatest goals in the competition`s history in 2001-02 that added a ninth European Cup to the glittering trophy cabinet at the Santiago Bernabeu. Los Blanco`s have previously won the trophy in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000 and 2002.
After helping Atletico Madrid win the La Liga title after 18 years, Diego Simeone is assured of a legendary status among the pantheon of club legends. Even during the joyous celebrations by Atletico fans after their heroic draw at Camp Nou last week crowning them champions, the Neptune fountain in the heart of Madrid`s city center witnessed repeated chants of "Ole, ole, ole, Cholo Simeone". Should the Argentine win the final against city rivals Real Madrid, he will be just the third non-European coach to win the competition. Luis Carniglia and Helenio Herrera are the only two non-European coaches to have won the competition and Simeone could end this 49- year drought in Lisbon.
El Derbi madrileno
El Derbi madrileno or the "Madrid Derby" is a special occasion for the city of Madrid. However, this final marks an historic event as it is the first time two teams from the same city will fight for the Champions League trophy. There have been occasions, when two teams from the same country have reached the Champions League final, but never from the same city. Real will be part of a final after more than a decade, while their neighbors have had to wait for four decades to be here. On this truly unique moment in the history, the Spanish capital is bound to exude extreme emotion when either Iker Casillas or Gabi lift the coveted trophy.