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La Decima for Real or La Primera for Atletico, Spain is the winner

That Saturday's European Cup final is the first to return to Lisbon since Celtic won in 1967 has been, overshadowed, ever so slightly, by the fact it's also the first time in the competitions's 58-year history that the showpiece game is a city derby.

Moreover, the most successful country in the history of this tournament, Spain, will be represented by the two main clubs of its capital city. Madrid.

Having established that, you'd have to wonder, cynically, precisely how happy some parts of Europe are that Real Madrid and Atletico are about to do battle.

In England, for example, while many understand that Spanish football has patiently developed many of the elements of modern football that the money and hard-nosed entrepreneurial advantages of the Premier League can't buy, La Liga is too often viewed as "uppity".

The fact Real Madrid are in search of La Decima, their 10th time as master and commander of Europe, is a thorn in the side of those who wish to portray the Premier League as the alpha male of the continent, indeed the world, as is the fact both teams are Spanish.

After the match Spain will be world champions, European champions, European under-21 Champions, Champions League holders, Europa League holders, and guaranteed 2014 European Super Cup winners given Sevilla and either Madrid or Atletico will meet in August's final in Cardiff.

Taking club and international football into account, there has never, not ever, been such a period of domination in the history of this sport. Just think about that. Of course there are some who will try to reduce Spain's pre-eminence a little by chuntering on about how only the two "big"clubs ever win La Liga.

It's an external perception that it's somehow important for Spanish football that a team other than Barcelona or Madrid win the title - "just for a change".

Those who support neither only want a different league winner so that their club, specifically, can be champions. Atleti, Los Colchoneros (the mattress makers), are the contenders in question right now.

Even if there's a general sang-froid about Madrid winning their 10th European Cup, and a related desire that they trip up at the final hurdle, I suspect that where memories are long in the Scottish football community Atletico's name is not being whispered with reverent hope and optimism.

That Los Merengues are seeking La Decima only serves to underline, brutally, that their opponents not only do not have a single notch on the European Cup bedpost, but also that last time they disturbed the continental bedclothes they were given a pretty royal seeing-to.

Atleti haven't been to the continental summit for exactly 40 years and when they were there found that they were incontinent.

They lost 4-0 in a replay of the 1974 final against European royalty Bayern Munich, who were two-thirds of the way through their three-on-the-bounce successes which followed the tournament hat-trick Ajax had just registered. Six straight years of European predominance shared by two clubs

Atleti had the chance to end it because they led 1-0 against the Bavarians with nano-seconds left (thanks to the late Luis Aragones' fabulous free-kick) only for Pepe Reina's old man to be beaten by a huge, speculative Schwarzenbeck drive that shouldn't really have gone in but did.

This allowed Bayern to make sure Atleti were reduced to court jesters, rather than Dauphins.

Of course, that lederhosen triumph was celebrated by many in Scotland. The last time the red-and-white half of Madrid made it to this altitude they did so by homicidally shoving Celtic over the precipice and cutting their support ropes.

The semi-final ties at Parkhead and the Calderon in 1974 were just about as thuggish as anything you'll ever see within the rules of an organised sport.

The Spaniards (and South Americans) were brutal beyond belief and made Celtic look like European Bambis as they literally kicked Jock Stein's team out of the last four of the continental elite

So when the "animals" were clawed back in the last minute in Brussels 40 years ago this week, and then humiliated 4-0 a few days later, many in Scotland felt justice had been served. And there Atleti's claims to European royalty lay - dormant, not unlike a footballing Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Capable of marching as far as Derby, for sure. Romantically mentioned in song and fable - but with a reputation that made it increasingly unclear why anyone had faith in their claims to the throne.

And cut to today. Their haughty, sneering city enemies await in Lisbon.

Spain's Iberian neighbours would probably have preferred Dinamo Tbilisi and East Stirlingshire to have made this elite final in the Portuguese capital rather than be tormented by hundreds of thousands of Madrilenos about how they don't mind "slumming" it for a day or two in a country they already consider as a low-rent suburb of Espana just so they can repatriate the cup with the big ears.

A minor crumb of comfort is that Portugal can greet the return of Cristiano Ronaldo (and Tiago and Fabio Coentrao too) but it will be galling that the first elite final in this city since 1967 happens to feature a club that dominated Europe at a time when Benfica were probably their most consistent, but less successful, rivals (two wins and three defeats in finals when Madrid were at their peak; the Eagles beat Los Blancos in the 1962 European Cup final.) Both of Madrid's clubs are represented by emblematic Portuguese men o' war - in fact, they are two of the greats in each club's history, Luis Figo and Paulo Futre.

It's another factor that will probably tip what Lisbon support there is for either side further towards Madrid. Ronaldo broke through at Sporting as did Figo, who won the cup with them.

Futre, although he had spells with both Benfica and Sporting and is adored around Atletico, is most famous for two straight league titles and a European Cup win with Lisbon's hated northern rivals Porto.

What's a little bit ironic, given that Madrid are tilting at La Decima and an increase in their historic stranglehold on the greatest club competition, is that on this occasion Atletico are vastly more experienced in this type of situation.

Every important member of Diego Simeone's squad has recently won a Uefa trophy (or three) and since Madrid last won this competition (or even made a European final) Atleti have won four Uefa finals: two Europa Leagues and two Uefa Super Cups, beating Fulham, Athletic Bilbao, Inter Milan and Chelsea in the process.

Of Los Blancos, only Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso and Ronaldo have won a Uefa club final - although they have four Champions League final wins and a couple of runners- up medals between them.

One of the quirks of this being a city derby final is that the winners and the losers will share the same, but very different, route home. By train, plane, automobile, bicycle, in-line skate or hang-glider, the kilometres from the capital of Portugal to the capital of Spain will be identical.

But for the losers, that road will seem far longer, far bumpier and far more humiliating than it will for their exuberant and, don't doubt it for a minute, gloating rivals.

Whether this final grants La Decima or La Primera will govern which half of Madrid is drunk with joy, and which is hungover and suffering what will feel like it's going to be eternal pain.

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