Real vs. Atlético: Madrid ain’t Big Enough for the Two

November 1st, 2019 Football Soccer

Madrid – the capital of Spain – is not big enough for two soccer teams bearing its name. Which is definitely not why the UEFA Champions League Finals will be held at San Siro stadium in Milan – in fact, there was a draw to determine the field, like, long-before the finalists were even known. As predicted, Real Madrid beat yet another English team on their way to their 11th European Cup – this is time it was Manchester City’s turn; after all, Noel Gallagher’s support can only carry you so far. Did they steamrolled them? No. Did they whip them six ways till Sunday? No. Did they blow them to Kingdom Come? Nope. It was a measly aggregate score of 1-0. But winning is winning, whether by an inch or a mile.

Not quite as predicted, Atlético Madrid eliminated the soccer betting favorite Bayern Munich. I personally blame the players. I’m sure coach Josep Guardiola did his best to motivate them – I mean, even his nickname is Pep. Unfortunately, the UEFA Champions League Finals is not a No Madrids Club. If that were the case, Atlético would not be allowed, and if they pointed that “but you let in Real Madrid,” we could tell them that it says No Madrids (emphasis on the plural); we’re allowed to have one. Then we could just get Bayern to replace them, or, better yet, just give the title to Real Madrid already and be done with it. We know it’s bound to happen anyway.

They call it the Madrid Derby, but really, they should call it the “Real Madrid owns that other team that just happens to be from the same city.” They have faced each other 212 times since 1927 (there were no Liga head-to-head matches in 1930-31, 1931-32, 1932-33, 1933-34, 2000-01, and 2001-02 because Atlético were in the Spanish Second Division, nor in 1936-37, 1937-38, and 1938-39 because of the Spanish Civil War – excuses, excuses); Real has won 107 matches (50.4%) while Atlético has won 54 (25.4%). In addition, there have been 51 draws.

But what concerns people who bet on soccer at this time is the UEFA Champions League. Real has won 4 – soon to be 5 – and Atlético 1 out of six matches, with obviously one draw. Of special note is the last time they met, which was coincidentally the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final. Atlético scored late in the first half – a fluke, really – and spent the second half with all eleven players inside their own goal area. It was all for naught, though, as Sergio Ramos tied the game with a header in injury time – while the poorly-conditioned Atlético players were sucking wind so bad that fans in the first front rows passed out from oxygen deprivation. Long story short, as the match went to extra time Real stopped toying with their opponents and scored three more in quick succession, making it the second biggest winning margin in the tournament’s history.

All things considered, putting your soccer betting money on Real Madrid is kind of a no-brainer – even with what’s-his-face under the goal posts. Hence, and to make matters a bit more interesting, I suggest they make it a Loser Leaves Town match.

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