UEFA Champions League Final: Décima With Repercussions For Both?

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After 12 long years and over 1 billion euros spent, Real Madrid finally won the much anticipated “Décima.” The Spanish side have extended their lead over AC Milan in the winners section, with ten titles versus seven for the Italians. While everyone saw Real Madrid close to a catastrophic loss, the players’ faith and the merengues historic tendency to resort to epic comebacks saw them turn around the final. Atlético Madrid didn’t deserve such a result, but football isn’t always about deserving a title, you have to win it. Atlético’s intense defending wore them out and cost them their form during the two extra halves.

What’s done is done and people will always remember the champion team, but this year there is a different feeling. Atlético have grown into a respected team with Diego Simeone leading them to success. The 2003-2004 season in La Liga was the last time Real Madrid or Barcelona didn’t win the trophy, with Valencia earning the top spot. That makes for ten years of a “dictatorship” from Spain’s two biggest teams. This has caused fans, critics and even players around the world to think of La Liga as boring and monotonous. This season when Atlético started to quietly remain very close to Barcelona and Madrid in the top of the table, people thought it was a matter of time before they suffered a bad streak and fall to their usual top six spot. However, people have short memory and forget that Atlético is the third most successful team in Spain. With two recent Europa League wins, a Copa del Rey against Real Madrid, and this year’s Liga title and impressive Champions League run, the colchoneros have earned everyone’s respect. They don’t have the huge budget that other teams enjoy. In addition, they have been known for not being able to keep their stars for too long. This year they might suffer from this again. Diego Costa is being followed closely by the best teams in Europe and the youngster-turned-star Thibaut Courtois is more than likely returning to Chelsea after three successful years as a loanee. However, the red and whites will definitely be able to seduce some important players into a project that is far from over. While you can never predict anything in football, it seems that Atlético will remain a very dangerous competitor to Barça and Madrid.

On the other hand, Real Madrid will also suffer some repercussions after this final. First of all, there is an immediate need to sit down with Ancelotti and discuss if he should stay at the club or not, but with two trophies out of three in his first year seem to be more than enough to keep him. The topic of Casillas and Diego López is another one that will more than likely arrive to a conclusion this summer after the World Cup. This year’s situation with Casillas playing only Champions League and Copa del Rey is sure not be kept next season. Both of them may leave, one may stay or maybe they will find arrangement that satisfies everyone. Another situation that Madrid will have to face is the possible departure of some key players. Benzema had an above average season, but people still see him as not good enough to defend this jersey. This is also the case for Morata, since the youngster isn’t happy with his playing time and has many offers from important clubs. If both of them leave, Madrid will definitely have to consider making an important investment, since Jesé’s recovery will be a long one. On top of that, this year’s superstar Angel Di María is another one on the fence, having almost left last year, Madrid may be persuaded to sell him and profit from his amazing season or be forced to raise his salary. Apart from that, Madrid have relieved themselves from the Décima obsession, but they will suffer from continuous comparisons and be asked even more next year, which isn’t always a good thing for them.

It’s very clear that one game can change everything and this historic UCL final will be as good as it will be bad for its two protagonists. Whatever happens, their reputation remains intact and if one thing’s sure is that the great champions always return.

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