The Champions League means Real Madrid. Los Blancos proved once again after beating Liverpool 1-0 in a final at Stade de France, Paris. Madrid became European champion for a record-extending 14th time.
For Real Madrid fans of this decade, it becomes a quite habit to watch the Champions League title festival. It started with La Desima in 2014. Then Zinedine Zidane became hat-trick champion in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Now, Carlos Ancelotti won it again tonight for the 14th time. But this 2021-22 title run was something special, dramatic and miraculous for Real Madrid fans, feelings have surpassed all the previous feelings.
Zero to Hero
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At the start of the 2021-22 Champions League campaign, Real Madrid lost to the infamous club Sheriff Tiraspol. Sheriff became famous overnight after beating Real Madrid. Then Real Madrid defeats Inter Milan, Sheriff and Shakhtar in a row. Real Madrid became group champion.
Knock Out Drama
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The Drama started from here. Real Madrid got SL Benfica as their opponent in Round of 16. But for some ridiculous reason UEFA arrange a re-draw. This time Real’s opponent is PSG. The French team keeping eye on Europe’s prestigious title for a long times, spent millions to build the squad. This summer they brought Lionel Messi, Asraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum. But this is not FIFA Ultimate Team game, full of stars squad doesn’t mean everything.
Real Madrid lost 1-0 in the first leg. In second leg, Real falls behind again with Kylian Mbappe’s goal. Here comes Karim Benzema, magic started from there. With three goals in 18 minutes, PSG realized that 90 minutes is a long time in Bernabeu.
In quarter final, Real drew against previous champion Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel’s side lost 3-1 at Stamford Bridge. In second leg, Real’s victory in Bernabeu seemed to be a matter of time. But Chelsea did not give up, going ahead with three goals in 65 minutes. In the end, Rodrigo equalized and took the match in extra time, there again Benzema’s magic.
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And everyone will remember what happened in the semis. The toughest opponent, Manchester City, won the first leg by one goal. But 2nd leg wasn’t just a great match. It was a historic one. Manchester City was in full control for 89 minutes with Riyad Mahrez’s 73rd-minute goal. Then Real Madrid produced one of the all-time great European comebacks to stun Manchester City. After coming off the bench, Rodrygo scored in the 90th and 91st minutes to level the aggregate score and send the Bernabeu crowd into extra time. Benzema then won and scored a penalty in the first five minutes of extra time to book a most unlikely spot in the Champions League final against Liverpool.
Mentality win against pressing
Everyone who has watched the final will agree that Real would not have won the match if Thibaut Courtois had not become a superhero of Marvel Comics. Real has created loads of opportunity in the goal, and Alaba-Militia has defended by heart and soul. But even then Liverpool got a lot of chances, but Courtois did not give any chance to Salah-Mane. He uses every part of his body to become great wall of china in front of Salah-Man. Despite being tactically backward, a strong desire mentality has probably put Real ahead to win. That’s why Carvahal may not have been found that way throughout the season, but he did his best in the final. Real Madrid has fought till the last moment with this mentality, overcome the pressing storm and in the end, they won.
Revenge, revenge and revenge
Word exchange between players, managers, and fans before a big match is not uncommon. But this time it’s crossed the limits. Mo Salah put fuel on the fire on that as he says he wants revenge from 2018 final. on that final, Salah left the field with shoulder injury and he didn’t forget that pain. Courtois and Dani Carvajal also answered Salah. In the end, Salah’s mouth is shut down.
The Kylian Mbappe transfer saga stopped with a disaster for Real Madrid fans. It was too much for a club like Real Madrid. He gave a verbal agreement to Real but in the end, he stay in Paris. For fans, it was heartbreaking. Even Benzema faces questions about Mbappe before the final. Whether or not these off-field “distractions” will have any effect on the game, there is little doubt that Benzema has blown them all away. And once again Real Madrid doesn’t need anyone to win La Liga or Champions League. Real Madrid is above all of them. Real Madrid is always King of Europe.
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