Champions League Final 2014: Any film of underdogs' season 'could only star Burt Lancaster'

 

Atletico Madrid’s film producer president Enrique Cerezo says if the story of his club’s season was submitted to him he would probably dismiss it as too incredible.

“I don’t know if I would believe the script. We would have to call it A Team For Eternity, with Burt Lancaster as Diego Simeone,” said the man whose Spanish production company has been making feature films for the last 15 years.

Cerezo’s company also produces the series of commercials designed to sell season tickets that the club releases at the start of every season. The most famous has a small boy asking his dad: “Papa, why do we support Atletico?” It plays on the club’s reputation as unlucky underdogs, forever in the shadow of Real Madrid.

That underdog theme has been picked up on this week by the former Chelsea midfielder Tiago, one of a number of free transfers in a team put together for a fifth of the cost of Real’s.

“Of course Real Madrid is the bigger team,” said Tiago. “We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. They bought Gareth Bale, they bought Cristiano Ronaldo before that, they have spent a lot of money every year and they are obsessed with winning La Decima [their 10th European Cup or Champions League title].

“Their team was assembled to win big trophies; we were just put together to battle in every game and that is what will do in the final. We have won the league and now we have the opportunity to win the Champions League.”

President Cerezo echoed Tiago’s sentiments. “We have a budget appropriate for our circumstances and yet we find ourselves in the final of the Champions League and having just beaten two of best teams in the world to win the league title,” he said.

 “But we have a great leader. The players will follow Simeone wherever he leads them. He is a magnificent coach capable of transmitting his beliefs on to the team and they play with his personality.”

The Atletico coach also knows how best to use the ‘underdog’ tag. “The two clubs could not be more different,” he said. “But everyone uses the means they have at their disposal. It’s a great rivalry.”

The Argentinian coach, who won silverware with Lazio in Italy and the double with Atletico as a player, but never fared well in the European Cup, is still deliberating who will replace Diego Costa if the Spain international does not pass a late test. The striker trained with the squad last night, but Diego Ribas could be brought into a five-man midfield behind David Villa.

The man who got the goal at the Nou Camp that helped see Atletico past Barcelona in the quarter-finals says he hopes the absence of Xabi Alonso will help swing the balance of tonight’s Champions League final the underdogs’ way.

“He’s a very important player and, although they will still be strong without him, even a team with as many options as Madrid will miss a player of his quality,” Diego Ribas said.

Real Madrid’s coach, Carlo Ancelotti, is still undecided whether to field the inexperienced 24-year-old Asier Illarramendi in Alonso’s place or Sami Khedira, who has barely played since undergoing knee surgery last November.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
books
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot