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Wanda Metropolitano, home of Atletico Madrid will host 2019 Champions League final

Friday 22nd September 2017
Atletico Madrid began life at their new impressive Wanda Metropolitano stadium when the new season kicked off earlier this month and it was announced this week that the venue has now been chosen to host the 2019 Champions League final.

The clubs new and improved ground received a fitting curtain-raiser on September 17th as the red and whites beat Malaga 1-0 courtesy of an Antoine Griezmann goal. The game was true to the identity of the club, hardworking and passionate in their performance and showed that despite a new modernised stadium the club will not lose its heritage. The ground itself was already built and ready, after initially being built as an athletics stadium before being temporarily abandoned in 2004. Now Atletico has inhabited the build and will hope to bring new life to an otherwise forgotten arena. Over the past five years or so the club has been dining at footballs top table, with two Champions League final appearances and a league title to show for their efforts. In terms of performance they have been one of Europe's best and now, with their new home, they can perhaps propel themselves to a whole new level.
Footballs top club competition final is only hosted by Europe's elite stadiums. It has been hosted in Madrid four times in its entire existence and all of them have been by Atleticos arch-rivals Real Madrid in their famous Santiago Bernabeu. Atletico has never been chosen to be the venue, until now with their new facility. No coincidence at all. Whilst their old ground had the character and the history it was far from "top of the range". Now they have the stadium to compete with the big guns, a 67,000 capacity venue and a look that really would get any football fans juices flowing. Now that they have been given the honour of hosting the final they can showcase the size of club they can be without doubt, they have almost two full seasons of time to prepare and perhaps prove that they can be very much more than just Reals derby rivals who occasionally have their day in the sun so to speak.

It is a sensational turnaround for the stadium itself also, after being built as a 20,000 capacity athletics ground in the mid 90's it was eventually abandoned in 2004 with no use intended for it. A great waste for a ground with such potential. A potential which Atletico spotted and decided it was the ideal pathway for them as opposed to building a new ground of their own which is much more difficult to plan. Instead, they chose to take ownership of the "Estadio De La Peineta" as it is nicknamed and extend its capacity. The move to their new home could be argued as much needed, the Calderon had the charm but was far from modern. To move into their new stadium

The move to their new home could be argued as much needed, the Calderon had the charm but was far from modern. To move into their new stadium was, however, a bold move and with being awarded the Champions League final so soon after unveiling the Wanda Metropolitano it will all feel worth the while.

The stadium has a new lease of life and with the Champions League final now heading there it will be well within Atletico's plans to make sure the Wanda Metropolitano is one of the famous grounds in Europe and modern day football, it would certainly make for a nice added touch if they were to appear in that final as well.
Ryan Stewart

23 years old, Sport Journalism graduate living in Salford. Work in web content in Media city and always looking to break in to sports writing. Manchester United season ticket holder.

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