Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid - The Final for the 2016 Champions League: Cristiano Ronaldo & BBC Give Los Blancos Edge on Offense
Goals will be scored in the Champions League final of Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid on May 28, 2016 in Milan.
The question is which side will get more goals and who will score them? Both teams possess world class attackers capable of turning a game at any given moment. But which side's stars will turn the tide?
Madrid's attack starts and ends with Cristiano Ronaldo who enters this contest leading the Champions League with 16 goals on the year. He is one away from his record of 17, also reached during Madrid's victory in 2014. His final goal was a penalty in Lisbon, the dagger in a game that was essentially over. That said, his performance in that game was not great.
Ronaldo has yet another 30-goal season in La Liga as well as another 50-goal year for his club. He had a poor start to 2015-16 but returned with a vengeance, scoring a big goals in the Champions League quarterfinal and throughout the final portion of La Liga to help Los Blancos get back into the race and finish in the top three. He has 15 goals in all matches against Atletico.
Of course Ronaldo is only one piece of the famed BBC for Los Blancos which also includes Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. The former is the form of his life, scoring 24 La Liga goals this season for Madrid and 28 in all contests. He is the focal point of the attack, providing strong buildup and playmaking skills as well as a strong aerial presence.
Aerial play is the specialty of Gareth Bale, who has nine headed goals, which is more than 68 of the 98 teams in Europe's top five leagues in 2015-16. It has not been a banner year for Bale due to injuries that have shut down his numbers somewhat. Despite being the man to shoot the winner against Manchester City, he did not get credit for the goal and has yet to record a goal in the UCL this season. But he still has 19 goals in all competitions for Los Blancos in just 28 matches, a far better ratio than his two previous 17 goals in 48 last season. His 19 La Liga goals is already four better than his best total in 2013-14 and just two shy of his best ever season for Tottenham. Bale scored the winner the last time these teams in met in the Champions League final in 2014.
Bale should be healthy for the final and his speed should cause tremendous havoc to Atleti's defense.
Antoine Griezmann is the main man up top for Diego Simeone, putting on a goalscoring clinic this season. He has 21 goals in La Liga and 31 across all contests, his finest showing to date. He has speed and finesse and has a knack for finding space behind defenders for quick goals.
His striking partner in the 4-4-2 formation is Fernando Torres, who has found new life in Madrid. He has 10 goals in La Liga this season and 11 overall; that is his best total since scoring 18 goals in the Premier League for Liverpool in 2009-10. He had no topped nine goals in that period.
Ronaldo alone has more goals than Griezmann and Torres combined. The BBC has 96 goals this year between the three of them. While Torres and Griezmann rely on speed, Madrid's trio is far more varied in its approach to scoring, giving them an overwhelming edge.