Real Madrid eliminates Atletico, makes Champions League final

Gareth Bale is expected to be back in action for the Champions League final against Juventus on 3 June.

After a 2-1 defeat at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday, which sent Real through 4-2 on aggregate, Zidane explained what the game in Cardiff will mean to him.

Although they have lost four of the five Champions League finals they have played in, including that one to Madrid almost two decades ago, their one win came against the holders of the competition.

The match was even when Karim Benzema came up with a spectacular move to set up Isco's goal.

The Real striker then put on a burst of pace to get to the ball before a fourth defender, and squeeze a pass out to midfielder Toni Kroos, whose low shot was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

Zidane insisted he was not downhearted by Atletico's superb start, despite the hosts racing to a two-goal lead after 16 minutes.

Zidane, a former Juventus midfielder, said after the 2-1 loss to Atleti, "It is something special for sure".

"Anything can happen in the final, but I see the team as being in fine shape and we'll contest and win the final".

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"If they score the tie is even more hard, but a goal in the first half would give us a lot of strength and could make them nervous".

While Barca have a superior head-to-head record, Real have a game in hand, facing Celta Vigo next week before their final fixture against Malaga.

Real Madrid conceded 17 times this year, showing a much more fragile back line, but have Cristiano Ronaldo up front, who scored seven goals between the quarter final and the semifinal, dragging his teammates to the final.

"It was an extraordinary game, there was huge nobility from a lot of players in our team".

"We overcame some very competitive sides en route to the final, the likes of Bayern, the game in Naples, which also was a tough one, and Atletico", said Ramos, whose side are also in pole position to win the Spanish title.

"We must be happy for the commitment the players showed, for their effort and their work, and for the relationship with the fans", the 33-year-old told reporters.

"But we knew that, by staying patient and calm, we would make chances. I hope we can take it someday".

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