Atletico Madrid Champions League final penpix
Atletico Madrid face their illustrious neighbours Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday looking to win the European Cup for the first time.
However, having being crowned La Liga champions for the first time in 18 years, Atletico will be looking to seal the greatest season in the club's 111-year history in Lisbon.
Here, AFP sports looks at the players hoping to make that dream a reality.
13. Thibaut Courtois (BEL)
Courtois has spent the last three seasons in the Spanish capital on loan from Chelsea and has quickly become one of the world's best goalkeepers at just 22 years of age.
The Belgian number one has kept 28 clean sheets in all competitions this season.
1. Daniel Aranzubia (ESP)
The veteran Aranzubia has played a small part in Atletico's 12-match unbeaten run in the Champions League as he kept goal in the 2-0 win over Porto in the group stages, but will watch on from the bench in Lisbon.
2. Diego Godin (URU)
One of many players that were seen as underachieving prior to Simeone's arrival at the club, Godin has been transformed under the Argentine and not only defended with great authority but also popped up with some vital goals, including the one that sealed the title against Barcelona at the Camp Nou last weekend.
3. Filipe Luis (BRA)
Just as important an outlet going forward from left-back as he is defensively, Filipe Luis has proved particularly important in the two league meetings against Real Madrid this season as he snuffed out the threat posed by Gareth Bale.
20. Juanfran (ESP)
Like Filipe Luis, as well as contributing to European football's best defence this season, Juanfran has been just as important going forward, most notably in setting up two goals in the semi-final win at Chelsea. Started his career at Real Madrid.
23. Miranda (BRA)
One of the unsung heroes of Atletico's success, the 29-year-old Brazilian has struck up a great partnership with Godin at the heart of the defence.
4. Mario Suarez (ESP)
An injury midway through the season has cost Suarez his place in the side to Tiago alongside Gabi despite an excellent start to the season in which he forced his way into the Spanish national team.
5. Tiago (POR)
Another whose nomadic career has been rejuvenated by Simeone. A regular in central midfield, the Portuguese international's ability to protect his back four has been a key feature of Atletico's excellent defensive record.
6. Koke (ESP)
A product of the Atletico youth academy, the 22-year-old has had a stellar season which has seen him become not just a regular in Simeone's set-up but also in the Spanish national squad.
On top of being Atletico's top creator of goals with 18 assists this season, he has also shown an eye for important goals amongst his tally of seven for the season.
10. Arda Turan (TUR)
The Turkish international is a doubt for Saturday's clash due to a hip injury and his invention would be sorely missed in a midfield full of physical prowess but sometimes lacking in creativity. Turan has also been Atletico's second top goalscorer in the Champions League with four in just seven starts.
14. Gabi (ESP)
Another product of the Atleti youth academy, Gabi has been an inspirational captain in leading the side to the Liga title and the brink of a first Champions League crown. Moreover, the 30-year-old, who is in his second spell with the club after a time with Real Zaragoza, has played more minutes than any other Atletico outfield player this season.
26. Diego (BRA)
Re-signed by the club in January, Diego has more than played his part in Atletico's Champions League run with a wonder strike which handed Los Rojiblancos a crucial away goal against Barcelona in the quarter-finals.
24. Jose Sosa (ARG)
A favourite of Simeone's having also worked with him at Estudiantes in Argentina, Sosa's set-piece delivery has been an important weapon off the bench since he joined the club on loan from Ukraine's Metalist Kharkiv in January.
7. Adrian Lopez (ESP)
Adrian repaid the amazing faith Simeone showed in him despite scoring just two goals in 26 appearances before he notched the vital equaliser which turned the game against Chelsea in the second leg of their semi-final.
8. Raul Garcia (ESP)
A converted central midfielder, Garcia's 17 goals in all competitions this season make him the club's second top scorer. The Spaniard has proved particularly effective in the air and will offer the physical presence up front should Diego Costa not be fit.
9. David Villa (ESP)
Villa's work rate has been consistently hailed by Simeone, but he has lost the spark in front of goal that made him Spain's all-time leading scorer at international level having failed to find the net at all in this season's Champions League.
19. Diego Costa (ESP)
The side's top scorer and talisman with 36 goals in all competitions, Brazilian-born Costa looks almost certain to miss the final due to a hamstring injury.
Diego Simeone (ARG)
Simeone's conversion of a club in crisis just above the relegation zone to La Liga champions and on the brink of a first Champions League title in two and a half years has been remarkable.
Despite not having the finances to compete with Europe's elite, Simeone's motivation and tactical organisation has led Atletico on a 12-game unbeaten run to the final on their first appearance in the competition for four years.
If you know how to coach you can make wonders of any team and so has Diego Simeone proven with Atheltico Madrid.
Soccer is 40% personal skills and 60pct team skills i.e passing, running and creating spaces for incisive passes to better positioned teammates, using the whole length and breadth of the field to create space and positioning, and practicing, to near perfection by sheer speed of foot and brains. Such coaches are very rare and they command the heavens in wages.
Arragones the Spanish coach who just died was the first to lead Spain to world title with tick tacky play which simply meant passing and running into position with two player options for each player with the ball.
Singapore - alas we need a master mind for soccer management to lead us out of the doldrums of playing soccer at local "primary kampong" soccer.