Three years, two Champions League finals and two very different teams for Diego Simeone
Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid reached the Champions League Final on Tuesday night after an away-goals triumph over Bayern Munich in the semi-finals.
Although the Spanish side lost 2-1 in Munich, Antoine Griezmann's second-half strike sent the team towards Milan for the May 28th final.
It is the second time in three years that Simeone's side have reached the final, but the 2014 and 2016 versions are very different. Only five players that started that final in 2014 started the game in the Allianz Arena. Of the five, defender Filipe Luis left the team for a season after joining Chelsea.
The Atletico team from the 2014 Champions League Final
The 2014 La Liga winning team saw may of their stars leave after the heartbreaking loss to Real Madrid in Lisbon. Thibaut Courtois returned to his parent-club Chelsea and was joined by Diego Costa and Luis.
David Villa moved the New York City, via a brief stop in the A-League too. The following summer Miranda and Raul Garcia both left too, joining Inter Milan and Athletic Bilbao respectively.
Within a year, Atletico lost over half of their team from that Champions League final. the rebuilding process started with the signing of Jan Oblak from Benfica. The Slovakian goalkeeper failed to break into the team until midway through the first season, but has proven to be one of the best in Europe.
In defence, Jose Gimenez was promoted to the first team after Miranda's departure, while in midfield Augusto Fernandez joined the club in January as a direct replacement for Tiago. The Portuguese midfielder broke his leg last November.
The Atletico team from Tuesday's semi-final against Bayern Munich
Saul is a product of Atletico's youth system but was on loan at Rayo Vallecano during the team's league winning run in 2014. Up front Griezmann arrived from Real Sociedad as a direct replacement for David Villa.
The prodigal son Fernando Torres was the last piece of the jigsaw. The striker originally joined on loan in January 2015 from AC Milan.
Three seasons, two finals, two separate teams. Diego Simeone's managerial nous should not be underestimated. The Atletico style may not be the most pleasing on the eye but it's certainly effective.