Real Madrid somehow beat Liverpool in the Champions League final
We will probably never see a UEFA Champions League run like this a recently completed Real Madrid. If match quality alone determines Los Blancos’ two quarter-finals and semi-finals, as well as Saturday’s one-game final against Liverpool, they’ve lost each. Real Madrid were late in each second leg against Chelsea and Manchester City, last season’s finalists, but have found ways to move forward.
Now, Real Madrid have won the European crown for the 14th time, twice as much as any other team. It’s been a 12-year wait for “La Decima” and Madrid won their 10th continental title in 2014. It was the start of five Champions League titles in nine seasons. No other club has won so many trophies in the same amount of time. And yet, none of the others have a roller coaster of emotions attached to this year.
If not only from the names of the team, Real Madrid has defeated 3 Premier League teams in a row to conquer Europe. That English trio finished as the top three in the league and will return to action next season with Tottenham. In the match against Chelsea, Madrid got hit in the second leg and were so knocked down that Los Blancos lay on the canvas looking up at the lights and the referee called “9” and they survived.
The same official may also have called back “9” in semi-final against Man City. And Real Madrid wobbles even more. Liverpool dominate the statistics table in Paris. The Red Devils have 24 shots and 9 on target. Madrid only launched 4 shots towards Liverpool, 2 shots on target. A shot in the 59th minute from Vinícius Jr., a name you will want to know at the 2022 FIFA World Cup as he will be an integral part of the Brazilian team, was the only goal.
The first UEFA Champions League final with a large audience since 2019 featured a goalkeeper of the match, as Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois excelled. It was the game of his life and one of the best performances by a goalkeeper in a European final ever. Keeping Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah twice from scoring the opener is unbelievable. Los Blancos may be leaving The French capital without Kylian Mbappébut will go away as European champion and have plenty of redundancy to do it again next year.
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This is such a strange statistic that, after doing my own research, I still can’t believe it’s true: Over the past 21 years, La Liga teams have played 17 Champions League and Europa League finals against teams that are not. right Spain. They won all 17. It was crazy.
Liverpool’s season is over half a quarter, and the two trophies it cares about aren’t in its closet. The Reds haven’t actually won the stipulated final this season, nor have they scored in any of the tournament finals. LFC has won two trophies — the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup, on penalties, beating Chelsea both times.
Real Madrid’s victory also means a place in the FIFA Club World Cup. That is of particular interest to American fans as the Seattle Sounders will represent North America at the event. An MLS’ best-ever franchise versus Europe is all sorts of enticing, though if Los Blancos try, American exports could falter.
Real Madrid’s dominance in Europe is now so standard that most football fans feel numb. You only need to see them in the following rounds of the annual UEFA Champions League. That is not only because of the size of the club but also because of the loyalty from the players. The captain of the team, Marcelo, did not play against Liverpool. And still respectful enough to open the title celebration after 15 years with Los Blancos. In the Champions League era, 10 players have won 5 UCL titles. They all played for Real Madrid. The Spanish giants are not going anywhere. And even England’s best will have to keep dealing with them.