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May 22, 2014

Soccer-Atletico success built on shaky economic foundations

LISBON, May 22 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid’s emergence as a third force in Spain and contenders among Europe’s elite rests on wobbly economic foundations and the edifice could come crashing down if they cannot sustain their remarkable run.

The club’s success is in large measure down to inspirational coach Diego Simeone, who since taking charge in late 2011 has moulded an unspectacular squad into a unit capable of challenging the continent’s richest clubs, including La Liga rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.

May 22, 2014

Soccer-High-flying Atletico inspired by terror victim

LISBON, May 22 (Reuters) – When Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone and his players look back on the 2013-14 season, they may remember March 29 and their comeback La Liga victory at Athletic Bilbao as the moment they truly started to believe.

The match at fourth-placed Bilbao’s daunting San Mames arena was seen as one of Atletico’s toughest of the season finale and failure would have severely dented their chances of beating Barcelona and Real Madrid to the title.

May 22, 2014

Atletico bid to outwit wealthy neighbours Real

LISBON (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid have a chance in Saturday’s Champions League final not only to claim their debut European crown but to deny their loathed and vastly wealthier neighbours Real Madrid a record-extending 10th.

Atletico have already outperformed this season in securing a remarkable La Liga triumph, shattering the domestic dominance of Real and Barcelona and becoming the first team other than the big two to win the Spanish title since Valencia in 2004.

May 22, 2014

‘Pacifier’ Ancelotti restoring Real’s prestige

LISBON (Reuters) – Carlo Ancelotti promised a heady mix of spectacular football and trophies when he took over at Real Madrid, the holy grail for coaches handed the reins of the world’s richest club by income.

Although he has not consistently managed the former in his debut season at the Bernabeu, the Italian is on the verge of delivering the record-extending 10th European crown – that has eluded Real since their last continental triumph in 2002 – to add to this term’s King’s Cup success.

May 22, 2014

Atletico success recalls high-achieving class of 1996

LISBON (Reuters) – If Atletico Madrid win a first Champions League title by beating city rivals Real Madrid on Saturday they will become the most successful team in the club’s history, eclipsing the La Liga and King’s Cup double winners of 1996.

Current coach Diego Simeone played in that side under Serbian Radomir Antic and Atletico’s latest team have many similarities with the 1996 vintage.

May 22, 2014

‘Pacifier’ Ancelotti restoring Real Madrid’s prestige

LISBON (Reuters) – Carlo Ancelotti promised a heady mix of spectacular football and trophies when he took over at Real Madrid, the holy grail for coaches handed the reins of the world’s richest club by income.

Although he has not consistently managed the former in his debut season at the Bernabeu, the Italian is on the verge of delivering the record-extending 10th European crown – that has eluded Real since their last continental triumph in 2002 – to add to this term’s King’s Cup success.

May 22, 2014

Soccer-’Pacifier’ Ancelotti restoring Real’s prestige

LISBON, May 22 (Reuters) – Carlo Ancelotti promised a heady mix of spectacular football and trophies when he took over at Real Madrid, the holy grail for coaches handed the reins of the world’s richest club by income.

Although he has not consistently managed the former in his debut season at the Bernabeu, the Italian is on the verge of delivering the record-extending 10th European crown – that has eluded Real since their last continental triumph in 2002 – to add to this term’s King’s Cup success.

May 22, 2014

Soccer-Atletico success recalls high-achieving class of 1996

LISBON, May 22 (Reuters) – If Atletico Madrid win a first Champions League title by beating city rivals Real Madrid on Saturday they will become the most successful team in the club’s history, eclipsing the La Liga and King’s Cup double winners of 1996.

Current coach Diego Simeone played in that side under Serbian Radomir Antic and Atletico’s latest team have many similarities with the 1996 vintage.

May 22, 2014

Soccer-Atletico bid to outwit wealthy neighbours Real

LISBON, May 22 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid have a chance in Saturday’s Champions League final not only to claim their debut European crown but to deny their loathed and vastly wealthier neighbours Real Madrid a record-extending 10th.

Atletico have already outperformed this season in securing a remarkable La Liga triumph, shattering the domestic dominance of Real and Barcelona and becoming the first team other than the big two to win the Spanish title since Valencia in 2004.

May 18, 2014

Barca preparing for ‘profound changes’ after poor season

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona are focusing on a sweeping rebuilding effort after the Catalan giants ended the season without major silverware for the first time in six years and coach Gerardo Martino quit.

Barca needed to beat leaders Atletico at home in their final game on Saturday to secure a fifth La Liga title in six years but could only manage a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp and finished three points adrift of the Madrid club.