Guillem Balague proclaims Champions League final as 'the biggest opera'
Guillem Balague says Saturday's all-Madrid UEFA Champions League final is the perfect showpiece event for the season.
Last Updated: 23/05/14 9:20pm
As many as 60,000 ticketless fans could make the five-hour drive to Lisbon in the next 24 hours in a bid to sample the atmosphere ahead of the clash between La Liga champions Atletico and rivals Real.
"It's the biggest opera possible," Balague told Sky Sports News. "You can see it building now. It is a magnificent scenario.
"With this final, you have to be a part of it if you're lucky enough to get one of these seats, but if not you have to come to taste the atmosphere, with your mates. Why not come to Lisbon itself?"
Balague believes all the pressure is on Real Madrid having fallen away in the Spanish title race and failed to win the Champions League since 2002.
"Atletico really can enjoy it and try to win as well," he added. "For Real Madrid, never mind enjoyment, they have to win it.
"It's been an obsession, because they haven't won it since 2002. I remember on that day the club president Florentino Perez celebrated saying, 'right, we've won the ninth, now let's go for the 10th, 11th and 12th!' and the players who played in that final felt he hadn't given any value to actually winning the European Cup, because it's a big thing.
"He thought that just by pursuing the same model of buying 'Galacticos', he could do that. Well, he's spent £1billion since that day and still not been in a final.
"The model should work. Nobody would have believed that would happen. They were buying the best players.
"Now Perez is saying to Carlo Ancelotti he's given him the best squad he's ever had. So he wants everything. He's upset because they didn't get the treble. It could be still be a double with the cup if they win here tomorrow, but if they don't, Ancelotti expects the worst."
Ancelotti's position would come under severe pressure should his team lose in the Stadium of Light on Saturday, but Balague says there would be no obvious candidate to replace him.
"It would be difficult to replace him because who do you go for? (Jurgen) Klopp says he's staying at Dortmund. There are no big managers available.
"The future will be in the hands of the president, who will be very upset if they don't win it, but then he will have to decide if the project is not working.
"Real Madrid has improved, they have become better players under Ancelotti. Cristiano Ronaldo says he's the best manager he ever had, so the players like him, but in the end it's up to the president."
Watch the Champions League final live from Lisbon from 6.00pm this Saturday on Sky Sports 1HD