Real Madrid win Champions League: Trademark victory over Borussia Dortmund shows why they are the kings of Europe | Football News

Borussia Dortmund will be wondering how that happened but they only have to ask Bayern Munich. Manchester City could also offer a sympathetic ear. Defeated finalists find themselves absorbed by this Real Madrid team.

Bayern believed they were Wembley bound in the 88th minute of the second leg of their Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu. City had 33 shots in the second leg of their quarter-final but were beaten on penalties.

For Dortmund, that moment came and went in the opening 45 minutes of this Champions League final. Edin Terzic’s team made seven of eight shots from inside the box. „We just couldn’t score,” Terjic said. „That’s the key.”

Two opportunities in particular will haunt them. Karim Adeyemi tried to get around Thibaut Courtois, but that made the opportunity more difficult. Niklas Fulkrug beats the goalkeeper, but not his distance. They were three minutes in which history passed them by.

It’s a strange feeling when every Dortmund miss boosts Real Madrid’s hopes of a win. Such is the grip they have in mind, the grip they now have on this trophy. Champions of Europe for the fifteenth time.

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Sky Sports’ Gail Davies and Gave Solhecol discuss Real Madrid’s impressive performance as 15th-time European champions.

No other club has won the trophy even half as many times. Only AC Milan, in their entire history, have won more times than they have in the last decade. Dortmund will rue their finishing. But it was Madrid that ensured they would.

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Dortmund’s early organizational carving openings in Madrid’s defense saw them passive for long periods. This would have shocked other teams. But even admitting it is unlikely to have lost their faith. Dortmund could not prove decisive.

They say that finals are to be won, not played, and that this Madrid squad has enough tough winners to stay focused on the prize even when the pressure is on. Dani Carvajal walking away with the man of the match award was deemed most fitting.

Paco Gento’s six European Cup triumphs are the stuff of legend, a legendary total never reached when a team went a quarter of a century without retaining the trophy. Now there are Four Players in this Real Madrid team have won six times.

The two combined for the opening goal. Toni Kroos, in the final club game of his career, nodded to Carvajal. The 32-year-old full-back last scored in this competition nine years ago. But this group of players has a habit of picking their moments.

Toni Kroos celebrates after Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley.
Toni Kroos celebrates after Real Madrid won the Champions League final

Consider Courtois. His first Champions League appearance of the season saw him recover from a serious knee injury to make four appearances – and four clean sheets – back into the spotlight. He was once again invincible.

Jude Bellingham labored for most of the match, with a muscle strain indicating he was less than fully fit. But he provided the assist for the second goal, sinking to the floor in tears of joy. He would call it the best night of his young life.

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At the age of 20, he could already be ranked as the greatest English football export, player of the year in both Germany and Spain and Champions League winner after the first season of all debuts. It certainly helps that Vinicius Jr. is there for company.

The Brazilian scored the only goal in the 2022 final against Liverpool. Here, his second Dortmund ended any hopes of a comeback. Like Bellingham, he wasn’t great, but he was ruthless. „The momentum is back and you see why they’re champions,” Terczyk said.

Both were replaced by the end to the crowd’s applause. The pair now ranks as the top heroes in the European football landscape with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Ballon d’Or definitely goes to Vinicius.

Luka Modric already had a hit. Here, at 38, he became the oldest man to appear in a Champions League final since Paolo Maldini won the match against Milan in 2007. Milan’s manager that day 17 years ago? Carlo Ancelotti, of course.

What is there to say about a coach whose outsized accomplishments contradict him? Now a seven-time winner of the trophy, twice as a player and a record five times as a manager, he is finding a way.

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Watch Real Madrid fans celebrate their Champions League win at the Bernabeu

A group of winners led by the ultimate winner? This time an intervention was needed. A subtle tactical change at the break helped shift the momentum of the match in his way. „At the end of the first half, we were very calm,” Ancelotti said.

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„I didn’t need to be angry. I had to clarify some things. It was clear how Dortmund wanted to play. We lost balance and had to manage their changes better. We thought it would be good for us to change the system. More players in midfield.”

It took a set-piece goal here and an errant Dortmund pass to swing another final his way. As a result, Sir Alex Ferguson is the last manager to beat Real Madrid in a European final – 40 years ago now with Aberdeen.

Tercic came up short, and his Dortmund team came up short. Their supporters unfurled a banner before the start. It read, „We have returned to town to steal the crown.” But Europe’s kings endure, and Real Madrid’s place on the throne remains unclear.

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