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Final fever in Madrid

Bayern and Inter U-18s face off in midweek

The eyes of the footballing world turn to Madrid on Saturday, and the Champions League final at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu between Bayern and Inter Milan. However, teams from both clubs will meet in advance on Wednesday evening at 7pm at Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, Real Madrid’s reserve stadium, when the FCB U-18s meet their Inter counterparts.

The game is intended as an appetizer for the main event at the weekend and is part of a week-long supporting programme, now underway in the Spanish capital ahead of the final. The schedule began last Saturday with the official opening of the Champions Festival. Throughout the week, the Parque del Retiro hosts a colourful series of events getting fans in the mood for the Bavarian-Italian showdown.

Women’s final in Getafe

Among the attractions located in the central Madrid park are mini-pitches, a museum featuring exclusive mementoes of notable players and clubs, and the Champions League trophy itself, available for snapshots. The highlight of the festival is on Friday with the Ultimate Champions Match, a game between Spanish legends headed by Emilio Butrageño, against an international stars XI featuring the likes of Michael Laudrup, Christian Karembeu and Rui Costa. The match kicks-off at 2pm.

A day earlier, the city of Madrid also hosts the Women’s Champions League final. German side Turbine Potsdam meet French cracks Olympique Lyon at Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, home ground of suburban top flight outfit Getafe. It is the inaugural final in the new Women’s Champions League. Kick-off is at 8.30 pm.

Good weather forecast

The Champions League is the dominant theme in Madrid this week, and there should be weather to match. The forecasters are predicting sunny skies and highs of 25 degrees centigrade for the whole week, so Madrid will be well worth a visit. And Bayern can hardly wait to get there.