Atletico Madrid seeking inspiration from the past

c If Atletico Madrid win a first Champions League title by beating city rivals Real Madrid on Saturday they will become the most successful team in the club's history, eclipsing the La Liga and King's Cup double winners of 1996

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Current coach Diego Simeone played in that side under Serbian Radomir Antic and Atletico's latest team have many similarities with the 1996 vintage. Known as "the mattress makers" for their red and white striped shirts, Atletico have already broken the Spanish hegemony of wealthier Real and Barcelona by winning the La Liga title, their first since 1996.

When they run out against Real in Lisbon, they can secure both their first continental triumph and deny their city neighbours a record-extending 10th.

Praise was heaped on Antic, who also had stints coaching Real and Barca, after the successes of 1996, when he was in his first season with Atletico after impressing at Real Oviedo.

He was able to inspire a squad of talented but under-achieving Atletico players to punch above their weight in much the same way as Simeone has done with the current team.

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