5 things you might not know about this year's Champions League final


Real Madrid tackle Atletico Madrid in a repeat of the 2014 final when Milan's San Siro hosts this year's Champions League showpiece.

Here, we look at five things you might not know heading into Saturday's big game.

1. The magnificent seven?

Zinedine Zidane win the Champions Leage with Read Madrid in 2002
(David Davies/PA)

Should Zinedine Zidane lead Real to their 11th European Cup, he will become the seventh man to win Europe's top trophy as both a player and a coach. There are only six men who have already achieved the same feat.

Miguel Munoz, three times a European champion in the Real midfield, guided Los Blancos to the prize in 1960 and 1966, with Giovanni Trapattoni winning the cup as Juventus boss in 1985 having twice enjoyed continental glory with AC Milan two decades earlier. Carlo Ancelotti is one of a few coaches to have secured three European Cups from the dugout but it must not be forgotten that he helped kick Milan to back-to-back trophies in 1989 and 1990.

The late Johan Cruyff, who collected three in a row as a marauding Ajax player in the 1970s, added a fourth to his collection when Barcelona triumphed in 1992. Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola are Zidane's nearest contemporaries: the Dutchman won two as a Milan player and another in Ajax colours before boosting Barca to glory in 2006, while Pep lifted all three during his illustrious career with Barcelona.

2. Revenge could be on the menu

The Champions League trophy
(Luca Bruno/AP/PA)

Atletico and Real will be the seventh pair of clubs to meet for a second time in a European Cup final - no other sets of teams have met three times - and the club wounded in the initial showpiece has managed to avenge their defeat on three occasions.

While Real Madrid beat Reims in both 1955 and 1959, with AC Milan getting the better of Benfica in 1963 and 1990, Ajax managed to buck the trend by making amends for their 4-1 humbling by Milan in the 1969 final with a 1-0 triumph in Vienna.

The Dutch side then learned that revenge is a dish best served cold when their 1973 success against Juventus was cancelled out after a penalty shootout defeat in 1995. Milan made sure to punish Liverpool for their 2005 exploits in Istanbul by clinching a 2-1 win two years later - yet Manchester United were forced to accept defeat to Barcelona in both 2009 and 2011.

3. The dress rehearsal

Real Madrid's Borja Mayoral, right, duels for the ball with Atletico Madrid's Augusto
(Oscar del Pozo/AP/PA)

Before departing for Milan, Simeone thought pitting his Rojiblancos against a version of the team they would face at San Siro would be a worthwhile exercise. Sure, Cristiano Ronaldo was represented by Yannick Carrasco while Angel Correa and Luciano Vietto stood in for Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, but those adorned in white shirts were arranged in the exact same way Simeone expects Zidane's men to line up on Saturday.

Given the fact strikers Fernando Torres and Coke were shooting against less ominous opposition than Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos and Casemiro, it was somewhat disappointing that they failed to score.

A defence featuring Diego Godin, Raul Gimenez and Filipe Luis did, however, keep a clean sheet. After the training match, goalkeeper Jan Oblak said: "Doing that again will be important in Milan as then we'll only have to score once."

4. Time to hand over the baton

The San Siro in Milan
(Luca Bruno/AP/PA)

Times are tough for the San Siro's long-term tenants, Inter Milan and AC Milan. Both Italian giants have won the Champions League in the last decade but mutual failings on and off the pitch have brought about serious decline in the northern city.

This year's final is the first in which none of the venue's occupants have been able to appear as neither club qualified for the Champions League. Respective fourth and seventh-placed finishes this term mean they will not feature in the 2016-17 campaign either.

Furthermore, the arrival of two Madrid teams in the city ushers in the end of Milan's footballing dominance in the Champions League, as the Spanish capital is now guaranteed to produce an 11th winner, thus surpassing the Italian city's record of 10.

5. Can he do it Ron, Ron, Ron?

Cristiano Ronaldo
(John Walton/EMPICS Sport)

Ronaldo is already targeting his 17th goal of the current Champions League campaign - a strike which would see him match his record tally from 2013-14, which he reached by scoring a last-gasp penalty against Atletico in Lisbon.

But any goal in Milan would also see the Portuguese make history by becoming the first player to score in three Champions League finals, as he hit the back of the net for Manchester United back in 2008.

Raul, Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi are the other stars who have scored in two finals - can Ronaldo go one better this weekend?