By Dominic Vieira
Madrid vs Fulham, Europa League Final, 12th May 2010, 19:45 GMT, Hamburg
Tomorrow night, either Atlético Madrid or Fulham will be crowned as the first winner of the Europa League. It’s been an extravagant and revolutionary European campaign for both clubs and nobody, including me, would have expected the final to be disputed between these two clubs. How often is it that we find Los Colchorenos and The Cottagers disputing a European cup final?
Fulham have been the surprising and outstanding underdogs of the competition, who would have thought they would have knocked out numerous European giants on their path to reach the final. Some didn’t even expect them to pass the group stages. It has been a mythical journey for them and the culmination of hard work and team spirit has rewarded them with their first ever European final. Victory tomorrow night for Fulham would be the perfect ending to their European fairytale.
Atlético Madrid, who were knocked out of the Champions League grouped stages, also endured a challenging ride to the final. The Madrid based team may be underperforming in La Liga, but they’ve played their best football in the Europa League which has been highlighted by their efficient and offensive football. However, there is a tradition, when Atlético are considered favourites, the team fails to deliver. Will being crowned as champions save their season?