Real Madrid wins a record 14th UCL title

1. Champion league
Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo (center) lifts the The Champions League trophy after Madrid's victory in the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
During the round of 16, the comeback started at minute 60. In the quarterfinal, it began at minute 80. In the semifinal, it happened at minute 90. For the final, it did not need to happen. There was no need for a historic comeback.اضافة اعلان

Real Madrid on Saturday, became the Champions League titleholder.

Playing second best to their rivals Liverpool throughout the 90 minutes, Real Madrid was not concerned about possession, passing sequences, or shots on target. All they cared about was grabbing that trophy for a record-extending 14th time. And eventually, they did.

In the opening minutes of the first half, Liverpool put their best foot forward and posed a challenge to the Spanish giants. The most dangerous strikes came from star forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, but in their way stood a Belgian wall, Thibaut Courtois delivering an outstanding goalkeeping performance.

He made sure that every shot was blocked and every attempt was thwarted. Even when Mane thought he had beaten the Belgian giant, the post was there to aid Courtois in his time of need.

Salah, who openly and on multiple occasions expressed his desire to revenge the lost 2018 Final to last night’s opponents, failed to break the deadlock. Even after tiptoeing past Ferland Mendy in the second half and unleashing an unsavable shot with his weaker foot, Courtois was there to the rescue of his teammates.

The Real Madrid defenders immediately went to rally around their goalkeeper after that stunning save. A save that secured Real Madrid’s path to victory.

Courtois, having done his job in preserving his goal intact, counted on his forward teammates to deliver something upfront. And they did not disappoint.

Karim Benzema was brilliant in his hold-up play throughout the match, receiving the ball in tight spaces and relieving the pressure that Liverpool had exerted on the Real Madrid defense. The Frenchman had a goal rejected for offside in the first half and was aiming on grabbing that winning goal to cap off a fantastic season for the 33-year-old.

But it was another forward, 10 years Benzema’s junior by the name of Vinicius Jr, who grabbed the game-winning goal for the Los Blancos.

After a bristling run on the right flank by midfielder-turned-winger Federico Valverde, the Spaniard managed to squeeze a fastball past the Liverpool defense, and awaiting for the easiest of tap-ins was Vini Jr.

The title means so much for Real Madrid. It’s their first since 2018. It’s their first since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. And it’s a record-extending 14th title, seven clear of their nearest competitors Milan.

It also means a lot to their manager, the ever-calm, coffee-sipping, eyebrow-always-raised Italian master tactician Carlo Ancelotti. It’s his fourth title in the Champions League, the most by any manager in the history of the competition.

In 1981, these two teams met in Paris to contest the final of the European Cup. Liverpool scored the game’s only goal through a run from Alan Kennedy on the left flank.

41 years later, the same two teams meet in Paris to contest the final of the Champions League, and the game’s only goal was scored by a fellow who operates on the left flank.

History has a funny way of repeating itself.

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