Atlético Madrid will have their shot at redemption when they face Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final on 28 May, a rematch of the painful 2013/14 showpiece when the Merengues hit a last-gap equaliser to take the tie to extra time before running away with it.
This is the seventh time that a European Cup final will be a replay of a previous showpiece (no sets of teams have ever had three meetings). The second acts have not always offered much comfort for the sides that lost first time around but Atlético can take encouragement from Ajax, Juventus and perhaps most of all, AC Milan.
The Rossoneri’s defeat by Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005, having led 3-0 at half-time, was every bit as bitter as Atlético’s fall at the last in Lisbon. Two years later (familiar, Atleti fans?) came their route to salvation and the Italian side duly erased the memory of their shoot-out loss by beating the Reds 2-1.
If that bodes well for Atlético then so too does the venue for this season’s final: San Siro, home of AC Milan.
European Cup finals that have been played twice
Real Madrid v Reims: 4-3, 1955/56 – 2-0, 1958/59
AC Milan v Benfica: 2-1, 1962/63 – 1-0, 1989/90
AC Milan v Ajax: 4-1, 1968/69 – 0-1, 1994/95
Ajax v Juventus: 1-0, 1972/73 – 1-1 aet, Juventus won 4-2 on pens, 1995/96
Liverpool v Milan: 3-3 aet, 2004/05, Liverpool won 3-2 on pens – 1-2, 2006/07
Barcelona v Man. United: 2-0, 2008/09 – 3-1, 2010/11
Atlético v Real Madrid: 1-4 aet, 2013/14 – ?-?, 2015,16