The thought of being here, at this time and at this moment, has consumed Real Madrid for 12 years.
Ever since Zinedine Zidane scored that goal and captain Fernando Hierro lifted that trophy at Hampden Park in 2002, the thought of winning a 10th European Cup/Champions League - 'La Decima' as they call it - has consumed them, more often than not to the point of suffocation.
This is their first final since then, and having waited so long and spent so much money in their efforts to get here, they’ve found out that their neighbours want to crash the party.
Atletico Madrid’s staggering season reached the apex last Saturday as their 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp confirmed their first La Liga title in 18 years, and made them the first side since Rafael Benitez’s 2004 Valencia vintage to win the league from outside of the Real-Barcelona duopoly.
They’ve been brilliant, with the ruthless semi-final execution of Chelsea just one example of the passion and quality instilled in them by coach Diego Simeone.
But is this one step too far for them? An excellent, against-all-odds league triumph is one thing, but is this team capable of a La Liga-Champions League double?
The injury concerns over Diego Costa – the raging bull of a forward who could well be involved in his final Atletico game here – has dominated preparations, and the uncertainty surrounding that blow has ensured that Real, despite finishing three points behind Atletico in La Liga, are the worthy favourites.
The key behind that favouritism lies with Cristiano Ronaldo, another player who has had injury problems of late but one who retains the capability to thrill at any time.
Back in his country’s capital, Ronaldo will be the spearhead of a side who scored 27 more goals than Atletico managed in the league this season, and it is that power which can sweep them towards victory over a team with an admittedly excellent defence.
Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will test that defence to the limit in Lisbon though, and ensure that the 2.00 available for a Real victory in 90 minutes should be snapped up.
In what could be an open final, both teams to score also looks good at 1.97, whilst the wincast bet of Ronaldo to score at any time and Real to win the match returns at 3.05.
We stay with the Portuguese ace here too, with his price of 2.10 worth snapping up if you are less confident of Real doing the business inside the 90 minutes, or indeed at all.
Ronaldo is 12.00 to repeat what he did in Manchester United’s colours in the final of 2008 and score with a header, whilst he’s at 6.00 to notch from outside the penalty area.
Bale could finish a stellar first season in Madrid with a flourish and is available at 3.85 to notch any time, whilst Sergio Ramos is in good goalscoring form and is 8.00 to score.
For Atletico, much depends on the fitness of Costa, but David Villa has scored a Champions League final goal in the past and is 4.35 to net, whilst Arda Turan tempts at 6.75.
Best of the rest
Both of the last two Champions League finals were goalless at half-time, whilst there have only been two goals scored before the 26th minute since that 2002 final when Real beat Bayer Leverkusen.
It’s 5.00 that the first goal of the game is scored between 30 minutes and half-time, and 2.10 for more goals to be scored in the second half than the first.
Correct score prediction
Real Madrid 3 Atletico Madrid 1 – 17.00
Real Madrid to win – 2.00
Cristiano Ronaldo to score at any time and Real Madrid to win – 3.05