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Baku and Madrid go head-to-head to host Champions League final

There will be a straight shootout between two cities with contrasting football histories for the right to host the prestigious event in 2019.

The Champions League trophy.
The Champions League trophy.
Image: Luca Bruno

MADRID AND BAKU are both in the running to host the 2019 Champions League final, Uefa has confirmed.

The deadline of 27 January for associations to file their interest in hosting the showpiece came with Azerbaijan putting forward the Olympic Stadium and Spain nominating Atletico Madrid’s Estadio Metropolitano, which is due for completion later this year.

Azerbaijan, which lies north of Iran, has never hosted the final of the competition previously and has never had a club reach the group stage of the competition, having become affiliated with UEFA in 1994.

Madrid, on the other hand, is one of the great Champions League cities. Real Madrid have won the competition a record 11 times, while Atletico are the only club to have reached the final three times without picking up the European Cup.

While the Bernabeu has played host to the showpiece four times, most recently for Inter’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in 2010, Atleti have never before staged the event.

They hope, however, that the construction of their new ground, which will have a capacity of 73,000, will allow them to do so.

Meanwhile, Uefa also announced a list of nominations to stage the Europa League final. Baku has again thrown its name into the ring, along with Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Glasgow’s Hampden Park, Istanbul’s Beskitas Arena, Tbilisi’s Dinamo Arena and two declarations of interest from Germany, the Frankfurt Stadion and Arena Stuttgart.

Belfast has been nominated, along with nine others, as a potential destination for the UEFA Super Cup, with Glasgow the other British interest for that competition.

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