It’s a tale of two dressing rooms at the Wanda Metropolitano where this season’s Champions League final will be contested, and Jurgen Klopp and his players have ‘home’ advantage despite being drawn as the ‘away’ team.
One dressing room is a magnificent half circle of armchair style seats, originally designed to meet the specifications of Diego Simone, so he could look each one of his players in the eyes as he delivers his stirring pre-match team talks.
The other is narrow, rectangular-shaped utility space offering none of the luxurious expanse of the home sanctuary.
But on June 1 it will be Liverpool, not Tottenham, who take the home dressing room despite officially being drawn as the ‘away’ team for the final.
Usually the team drawn as the away side in the UEFA draw would take the away dressing room. The switch has been put down to logistics and security.
Wanda Metropolitano stadium manager Fernando Fariza told Sportsmail that the decision to give Liverpool the home dressing room despite them being the away team was for ‘operational reasons’.
Fariza said: ‘The decision was made after taking into account where the two teams’ fan zones would be situated in the city and what route they would take to the stadium.’
A UEFA source confirmed that Madrid authorities had taken into account where both sets of supporters would be arriving to the stadium from.
With Liverpool arriving from the south, their 17,000 allocation will take the south end, and with Tottenham coming from the north their 17,000 will fill the north end of the ground. As a consequence Liverpool have the home dressing room, closest to the south end, and Tottenham the away dressing room closest to the north end.
It was not clear why the fan zones were not located to fit UEFA’s original draw with Tottenham to the south allowing their fans to take the south end of the ground and so the home dressing room.
There was a similar scenario for the last year’s Spanish Cup final when Sevilla were drawn as the ‘home’ team but Barcelona took the home dressing room.
The dressing rooms will not be the only thing making Liverpool feel at home on June 1.
Fernando Torres’ image is everywhere at the Wanda Metropolitano. His mural adorns the walls of the parking bays where the two team coaches will arrive, there are photographs and pictures of the former Liverpool No 9 in the VIP areas of the stadium, and on Monday there was even a video running on a loop of him celebrating Atletico winning the Europa League last season.