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PHOTOS: Intra-national finals a feature of Champions League

For the second time in three seasons, city rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will meet in the Champions League final _ the sixth time Europe's most prestigious soccer competition will be contested by teams from the same country

PHOTOS: Intra-national finals a feature of Champions League

LONDON (AP) -- For the second time in three seasons, city rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will meet in the Champions League final -- the sixth time Europe's most prestigious soccer competition will be contested by teams from the same country.

The final on Saturday at the San Siro in Milan will also be the third to involve two Spanish teams in the competition's 60-year history. All three have featured Real Madrid.

No intra-national final occurred until 2000 when Real Madrid beat Valencia 3-0 to claim its eighth European Cup.

The proliferation of intra-national finals is linked to changes to the design of the competition.

For much of its history, the European Cup usually only involved the champions from each national league in a knockout competition -- occasionally there would be two teams from the same country in the competition if one team qualified as defending champion and another went through as national champion.

In 1992, the competition was rebranded the Champions League. Among the changes introduced were the formal adoption of a group stage and, later, the involvement of multiple teams from certain countries.

That decision was particularly beneficial to Europe's major leagues of England, Germany, Italy and Spain. The four countries have witnessed finals contested by their own teams, most recently in 2014 when Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 4-1 after extra time to win its 10th title.

Photographers from The Associated Press will be in Milan for one of the world's most-viewed sporting events. Attached are some images of previous finals involving teams from the same country.