rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

May 23, 2014 08:40 IST

Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

     Next

Next

With the Champions League final set for Saturday, Rediff.com brings you the key head-to-heads in the showdown between cross-town rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

*Real players listed first:

Iker Casillas v Thibaut Courtois

A clash of youth and experience.

Courtois, 22, may be a more complete goalkeeper, with his extra height giving him an advantage with crosses, but 33-year-old Casillas has shown on many occasions that he has a knack of producing something special when required. Courtois has been a fundamental feature of the Atletico side all season and has made vital saves while Casillas has lost his first-team place in La Liga to Diego Lopez but has delivered when called on.


Image: Iker Casillas and Thibaut Courtois
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images and Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

     Next

Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Sergio Ramos v Diego Godin

There is little to choose between two defensive titans who provide leadership and personality at the back. Atletico's success has been based on their solidity and Godin plays a commanding role while Real are a more adventurous team and Ramos is the more comfortable player with the ball at his feet. Both have scored key goals this season in the air but Ramos is more adept at creating and scoring chances with the ball on the ground.


Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images and Winnie Pessentheiner/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Angel Di Maria v Koke

With his lighter frame and dexterity, Angel Di Maria is more agile than Koke. He is a spontaneous player who will look to beat a man and take risks while Koke is solid and reliable. Koke will measure his passes in midfield waiting for the right moment to deliver the ball into the box. The Atletico player is also a hard worker and will provide more defensive cover than Di Maria.


Image: Angel Di Maria (#22) of Real Madrid CF challenges Koke of Club Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Gareth Bale v Arda Turan

Both are valuable attacking options but they have very different styles as Arda's strength is his passing and close control while Bale looks to use his power and pace. Arda is a key player for Atletico due to their more limited creative options and without him they lack someone who can beat a player and deliver the killer ball.

Arda has really shown his worth to the team this season while for Bale it has been a difficult time of adaptation and a series of injuries that have prevented him having a consistent run in the team. Still, world record buy Bale is a player who can turn a game with a dash of pace on the breakaway or a thunderbolt from distance.


Image: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid duels for the ball with Arda Turan of Atletico de Madrid
Photographs: David Ramos/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Key head-to-heads for the Champions League final

Prev     More
Prev

More

Cristiano Ronaldo v Diego Costa

Ronaldo may have the edge over Costa but both are crucial players for their sides and capable of winning matches with a piece of trickery, a burst of pace or an explosive shot.

Costa is more of an out-and-out striker and while he can come deep to pick up the ball he is most dangerous in the box. Under the influence of Diego Simeone he has also become a tireless runner.

Ronaldo has scored 31 goals in La Liga compared to Costa's 27 and the effects of a long season have taken their toll. Costa remains a serious doubt for the final, in which case his place would likely be taken by Adrian.

 


Image: Diego Costa (left) of Atletico de Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Prev     More