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Champions League final: Thankless tasks on eve of showpiece, pesky sprinklers and a few old pros

As Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid prepare to do battle in the Champions League final, we take a look at what happened the day prior to the San Siro showdown.



The Champions League is a glamorous occasion – the best players in the world on display in front of a packed-out crowd.

But behind all the glitz of European club football’s annual spectacle, there are the jobs that nobody would envy.

Spare a thought for the few organisers who spent a long time on Friday morning putting flags on every seat in the Real Madrid end. They can at least take solace from the thought it will be worth it come kick-off on Saturday.


Fernando Torres is back with Atletico following an eight-year absence, during which time he won this competition with Chelsea in 2012.

Now, the Spain international is targeting glory with his boyhood club as Atleti look to lift the famous trophy for the first time in their 113-year existence.

“We’re excited about writing a new history of Atletico, something that no-one has done before,” he said at Friday’s media conference. “We have to maintain that level and go one step further and rewrite a new page of history.

“We can’t think of what we’ve done in the past four years. This is a major opportunity to crown but history is continually evolving. We have the opportunity to rewrite it and we will.”



Away from San Siro in downtown Milan, UEFA laid on fan festivals at Castello Sforzesco and Piazza del Duomo.

At the former, young stars showcased their skills under the roasting sun, as the crowds began to gather for the Ultimate Champions match later in the day.


And so to the Ultimate Champions game, which pitted an Inter and AC Milan Legends side against a World All-Stars outfit. 

The likes of Clarence Seedorf, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo turned out for the Inter and Milan team, while Robert Pires, Deco and David Trezeguet featured for the opposition.

While some on show looked like the ageing former stars they are, Seedorf looked as though he could take his place in midfield for Real or Atletico in Saturday’s final.


Antoine Griezmann has been identified as the major threat to Real Madrid’s backline in Saturday’s game after his goals in the last eight and semi-finals saw Atletico through.

But he was caught out at the start of training as he, Koke, and Gabi found themselves in the firing line of the San Siro sprinklers.

Fri 27 May, 2016
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