Wednesday , June 19 2024

Atletico Madrid limber up for Champions League final

Atletico Madrid have stepped up their preparations for Saturday’s Champions League final as the countdown to the European showpiece against local Rivals Real Madrid gathers pace.

Diego Simeone put his players through their paces at the Vicente Calderon as Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres and Co gear up for the biggest game of their season.

The squad were pictured performing a series of stretching and aerobic exercises as they limbered up during the morning session.Antoine Griezmann takes a breather during Atletico Madrid training at Vicente Calderon on Tuesday morning

Saturday’s showdown is a repeat of the 2014 final when Atletico were just moments from being crowned champions of Europe before a late Sergio Ramos equaliser forced extra-time before Real went on to win 4-1.

Atletico fell marginally short in the La Liga title race ending the season three points behind eventual winners Barcelona and two behind Saturday’s opponents and city rivals Real Madrid.

Simeone will be hoping his players can cap another impressive campaign by going one better than two seasons ago and winning the biggest club prize in European football.

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak dives to his right as he limbers up ahead of Saturday's Madrid showdown

Simeone will be hoping to go one better than two years ago when Atletico were beaten in the final by Real

Atletico have faced the toughest possible route the final knocking out Barcelona in the quarter-finals and Bayern Munich in the semi-finals – the two favourites to win the tournament this season.

Griezmann has played a key role in getting Atletico to the final having scored twice against Barcelona in the last eight and notching the crucial away goal at the Allianz Arena to secure their safe passage into the final.

And the French forward, who will form an integral part of France’s Euro 2016 hopes, has promised the club’s supporters the players will ‘run our socks off’ to ensure the trophy returns to the red half of Madrid.

Montenegrin defender Stefan Savic (near) and his team-mates work on their core strength

Atletico boss Simeone ensures he is suitably warmed up as he put his players through their paces

‘We’re going to be ready,’ Griezmann told UEFA’s official website. ‘We’ll remain focused every second of every minute, and give our all like always.

‘We’ll run our socks off, look to win the ball back by pressing high, and try to get the first goal. We’ll have to be strong both mentally and physically.

‘It’d be a dream come true, and I hope I get the chance to lift the trophy. I know it will take a lot of hard work and effort, but we are ready and willing, and we’ll do everything we can to win it.’

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