Atletico Madrid take on Bayern Munich at the Vicente Calderon in the semi-finals of the Champions League tonight and an electric atmosphere is expected inside the stadium.
But the Spanish fans seemingly can’t wait until kick-off so they have gathered outside the team’s hotel to create incredible scenes.
Supporters gathered in their thousands to greet the team coach with flares and chants, a mere eight hours before the match starts.
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We’ve seen both Real Madrid and Liverpool create similar scenes ahead of their matches against Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund respectively but this effort from Atleti tops the lot.
The fans will need to be the 12th man if they want to overcome Pep Guardiola's Munich team. The Germans are favourites to lift the trophy and Diego Simeone’s side will need to get a positive result to take to Bavaria next week.
The noise inside Atletico Madrid's stadium is often raucous but tonight promises to be even more special.
Of course, visiting manager Guardiola knows all about it from his Barcelona days and admits he, and his players, are looking forward to it.
“We need to focus in the two games. [On the Vicente Calderon], it’s perhaps the best atmosphere in Europe,” he told reporters, per Football Espana.
“It will also be a great experience for players like Philip Lahm and Manuel Neuer.
“[Atleti’s] fans support their team for 90 minutes.
“The German players have never played against Atletico. It will be a great, great experience for them,” he added.
Remarkably, the two clubs have only met once before, in the 1974 European Cup final. The Bavarians overcame Atletico Madrid thanks to the virtue of a replay 42 years ago.
But Guardiola will be more than aware of the threat his opponents pose. Atleti knocked out Barcelona in the previous round - thanks to a 2-0 victory at the Calderon - and are level on points with the Catalan club in the league.
“If Atletico play well, they always win. If they aren’t at their best, it’ll still be difficult,” the Spaniard said.
“[Diego Simeone] is one of the best Coaches in the world. He’s changed Atletico and given them confidence. They always make life difficult for you.”
The two ties are sure to be pulsating affairs as both clubs fight for a place in the final on May 28 in Milan.
They will meet the winner of the other semi-final involving Manchester City and Real Madrid. The two sides played out a 0-0 draw at the Etihad Stadium last night with the return-leg in the Spanish capital next Wednesday.
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