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Madrid is capital of soccer these days

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 1, 2014 at 10:22 am •  Published: May 1, 2014
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MADRID (AP) — Madrid is the capital of soccer these days: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

Atletico defeated Chelsea 3-1 to advance to its first European Cup final in 40 years, where record nine-time champion Madrid awaits after crushing defending champion Bayern Munich 5-0 over two legs.

One year after an all-German Champions League final, Atletico's victory Wednesday means the continent's top competition will be played for the first time between clubs from the same city. The final is May 24 in Lisbon.

"I'm happy that it's an all-Spanish final," Atletico playmaker Koke said. "It's going to be a special day, a very nice day because all of Madrid will be in Lisbon."

Spanish media hailed the feat Thursday, with sports daily Marca's headline touting "A Spanish Champion" while El Mundo said "Madrid wins the Champions" League. Even Catalan sports daily El Mundo Deportivo congratulated Atletico by running a "Historical!" headline rather than promoting Barcelona team news.

Atletico is on the verge of a historic double as it closes in on its first Spanish league title in 18 years. Madrid is chasing a triple-title season after winning the Copa del Rey against Barcelona.

Nine-time champion Madrid and Atletico have met once before in the competition. In 1959, Real ousted Atletico in the semifinals after winning a replay 2-1 when their two-legged series finished 2-2. Atletico's only final appearance came in 1974 when it lost to Bayern Munich 4-0 in a replay following a 1-1 draw.

While Madrid beat Atletico en route to this season's domestic cup trophy, Atletico still enjoyed a breakthrough year against its city neighbor, which is returning to the final for the first time since 2002.

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