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May 25, 2014

Real hopeful of new era of European domination

LISBON (Reuters) – When Real Madrid’s team of Zinedine Zidane-inspired “galacticos” won the Spanish club’s ninth European crown in 2002 it was supposed to mark the beginning of another golden era of European domination.

As it turned out, and despite hundreds of millions of euros spent on players, it took the world’s richest club by income another 12 years to win the coveted 10th title, or “decima”, a record-extending feat they finally achieved with Saturday’s 4-1 extra-time win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon.

May 25, 2014

Soccer-Real hopeful of new era of European domination

LISBON, May 25 (Reuters) – When Real Madrid’s team of Zinedine Zidane-inspired “galacticos” won the Spanish club’s ninth European crown in 2002 it was supposed to mark the beginning of another golden era of European domination.

As it turned out, and despite hundreds of millions of euros spent on players, it took the world’s richest club by income another 12 years to win the coveted 10th title, or “decima”, a record-extending feat they finally achieved with Saturday’s 4-1 extra-time win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon.

May 24, 2014

Ancelotti trumps Simeone to secure Real’s 10th title

LISBON (Reuters) – Real Madrid overcame Atletico in the Champions League final because coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to adjust his tactics and go on the attack in time to rescue the game while his opposite number Diego Simeone had no cards left to play

Ancelotti fielded a cautious starting lineup at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, with Sami Khedira in a deep-lying central role despite having only recently returned from knee surgery, and Real were outplayed for long periods in the first half.

May 24, 2014

Analysis – Ancelotti trumps Simeone to secure Real’s 10th title

LISBON (Reuters) – Real Madrid overcame Atletico in the Champions League final because coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to adjust his tactics and go on the attack in time to rescue the game while his opposite number Diego Simeone had no cards left to play

Ancelotti fielded a cautious starting lineup at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, with Sami Khedira in a deep-lying central role despite having only recently returned from knee surgery, and Real were outplayed for long periods in the first half.

May 24, 2014

Soccer-Ancelotti trumps Simeone to secure Real’s 10th title

LISBON, May 24 (Reuters) – Real Madrid overcame Atletico in the Champions League final because coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to adjust his tactics and go on the attack in time to rescue the game while his opposite number Diego Simeone had no cards left to play

Ancelotti fielded a cautious starting lineup at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, with Sami Khedira in a deep-lying central role despite having only recently returned from knee surgery, and Real were outplayed for long periods in the first half.

May 23, 2014

Ronaldo fit but Benzema, Pepe doubts, Ancelotti says

LISBON (Reuters) – Real Madrid top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is fit for Saturday’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid but forward Karim Benzema and centre back Pepe remain doubtful, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Ronaldo, who has a record 16 goals in the latest edition of Europe’s elite club competition, has had a series of niggling muscle injuries in recent weeks and has not played since limping out of a La Liga match at Real Valladolid on May 7.

May 23, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo fit but Benzema, Pepe doubts, Ancelotti says

LISBON, May 23 (Reuters) – Real Madrid top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is fit for Saturday’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid but forward Karim Benzema and centre back Pepe remain doubtful, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Ronaldo, who has a record 16 goals in the latest edition of Europe’s elite club competition, has had a series of niggling muscle injuries in recent weeks and has not played since limping out of a La Liga match at Real Valladolid on May 7.

May 23, 2014

Soccer-Atletico still waiting on Costa, Arda fitness

LISBON, May 23 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid are still sweating on the fitness of Diego Costa and Arda Turan and a decision on whether they can play in Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid has not yet been taken, coach Diego Simeone said on Friday.

Costa, Atletico’s top scorer, and playmaker Arda limped out of last weekend’s La Liga title decider at Barcelona with hamstring and hip injuries respectively and there were fears they would not be available for the showpiece in Lisbon.

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.