If you’re the type of person who reads our site on the regular, chances are you won’t need reminding that this weekend is the Champions League Final! Lisbon’s Estadio da Luz, home of the stunning EURO 2004 finals, will play host to the latest installment of the Madrid derby as nine times champions Real Madrid look to finally get the monkey off their back and win their 10th continental big cup; and what would be sweeter than beating their local rivals Atletico Madrid to do it? Probably nothing, although maybe doing it against Barca might be a bit bigger.
If Los Merengues want to beat their local rivals to lift the Big Cup, they’re going to need all their players amps turned up to 11 for the match; and that includes the foursome of Alvaro Arbeloa, Asier Illarramendi, Alvaro Morata, and Argentinian Angel di Maria. The four will be going to battle in Adidas’ brand new Battle Pack boots, so lets profile what the Spanish trio and the Argentinian winger will be wearing in the Champions League Final!
He’s won a World Cup and two European titles with his national team, and he’s just recently retired from the international game by being left off the Spanish roster for this summers World Cup, but Alvaro Arbeloa hasn’t seen continental success in his club career, so the long time Predator wearer will be going for broke in his Adidas Predator Instinct boots in the Champions League Final, provided that is he makes the pitch. Arbeloa has struggled a bit with injuries this season and has seemingly lost his place to Daniel Carvajal on the right side of the Real defense. He’s been limited to 30 matches this season….but has popped up with a goal in Europe.
Basque defensive-midfielder Asier Illarramendi will definitely be on the pitch for the Champions League final. The 24 year old who has been a loyalist of the adiPURE range will be sporting the Battle Pack edition of the 11pro for his last match before the summer break. Since his big money move from Basque Country club Real Sociedad before the start of the season, he’s been a near ever present in the Real XI making 49 appearances in all competitions and notching 3 goals (although none in Europe).
At 21 he’s the youngest player featured and the least experienced having only broken into the first team this season (aside Illarramendi was a regular at Sociedad); however adiZero F50 wearer Alvaro Morata has made a decent impression this campaign notching 9 goals in 32 appearances. Morata is a big lad at 6’3″ and is known for his skill in the air and holding up the ball, which makes him the ideal man to throw on if Real need to create havoc in the box late on. He’s drawn comparisons to former Real Madrid striker and now youth team coach Fernando Morientes, who also had a loyalty to the three stripes during his Liverpool days.
Which brings us to the final player in our foursome who despite being only 26 could be the most battle tested of the bunch. Argentine wingman Angel di Maria. He’s been an ever present on the flank for Los Merengues this season making 51 appearances which have resulted in a return of 11 goals and 24 assists; he’s also as of the current moment a member of Alex Sabella’s (ex-Sheffield United maestro) Argentina squad* for this summers World Cup, so he’ll be looking to win the Champions League to start his extended season on a high note. di Maria is a wonderful crosser of the ball and he’ll be swinging balls into the box in his Battle Pack edition of the Predator Instinct, looking to connect with Cristiano Ronaldo. If his crosses can find their target then there’s no denying that Real won’t have the goal scoring opportunities to win their 10th Big Cup.
*At the current moment Sabella hasn’t quite whittled his squad down to the final 23 man roster.
So there’s a run down of four Real men who will be ready for battle on Saturday in Lisbon. Will Los Merengues put a disappointing La Liga campaign behind them and with their 10th European Cup/Champions League title? If I’m entirely honest, I have Atletico to snake it by a goal and do the double.
What about you folks? Who’s your pick to take this years Champions League final? Leave a comment below and let us know. For those of you interested in the Adidas Battle Pack you can find the entire range over at soccer.com.