Five reasons Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid’s dominance in Europe continued as they sealed their 15th Champions League title with a win over Borussia Dortmund.

Real Madrid have been one of the most dangerous teams in Europe in recent years. They have won the UEFA Champions League six times in the last 11 years; such has been their dominance. They squared up against Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley, and it was not really an easy game for the team in white. But they ended up finishing on the right side of the result.

Dani Carvajal was at the end of a Toni Kroos header to give Los Blancos the lead in the 74th minute and nine minutes later, Vinicius Junior had sealed the win for them. Despite all the efforts that the Black and Yellows put in, there was only one winner in the once they conceded the first goal.

Real Madrid surely got the win they needed, but it took a lot of effort for them to claim their 15 UEFA Champions League title. The Hard Tackle delves into Real Madrid’s Champions League victory, seeking to uncover the key factors behind their success.

Borussia Dortmund’s missed chances

The team from Madrid had a poor first half in the final. They were nowhere near the levels they are expected to be at. Even though the Merengues had a lot of the ball, they were not able to make inroads. More importantly, Borussia Dortmund where very well structured defensively and they played amazing counter-attacking football.

BVB created a load of chances in the first half, but they were not clinical enough. Karim Adeyemi had two chances to give Dortmund the lead at the start. But he failed and Niclas Fullkrug hit the woodwork. In the second half, Fullkrug got another opportunity to give his team the lead. Unfortunately, he could not find the back of the net.

The world of football is well aware of the fact that if a team does not end up taking their chances, Real Madrid is a team that will come back to haunt them. Dortmund’s rivals Bayern Munich were at the receiving end of something similar as Joselu’s brace guided Real Madrid to the final.

The Karim Adeyemi substitution

The UEFA Champions League final was nothing short of a nightmare at the start for Dani Carvajal for the most part as he struggled to cope with Karim Adeyemi’s pace. The 22-year-old winger often used his pace to get in behind the experienced Real Madrid full-back, and it helped Dortmund create a few important chances.

As long as the German international was on the pitch, Carvajal had a tough time. But he managed to keep things tight at the back as they did not concede. The game changed when Edin Terzic decided to bring on Marco Reus for his final game for Dortmund in the 72nd minute to replace Adeyemi.

Reus’s arrival was expected to add a lot of composure. But things did not go according to plan as two minutes later, Carvajal rose high above everyone to head home a Toni Kroos corner to give his team the lead in the final. The 6 time UEFA Champions League winner had a difficult game, but he managed to end things on a high with a goal in the final.

Once Real Madrid scored the first goal, Dortmund did not really have the x-factor in their attack to try and challenge them. While they did create a few opportunities, without Adeyemi’s pace they were not really threatening enough. Just minutes after Carvajal’s sensational header, Vinicius Junior wrapped up the game of them.

The experienced Real Madrid dressing room

One of the major reasons why Real Madrid have been dominating Europe in recent years is because of the culture that they have built and the fact that they have serial winners in their ranks. Anyone who walks into that dressing room has the luxury of playing with players who have won multiple UEFA Champions League titles, people who know what it takes to win on those big nights.

While exceptional young players can surely help you win games, the experience is what helps you get your hands on important silverware. The game against Borussia Dortmund was not easy,. But it did feel like Real Madrid knew that if they went into the break without conceding a goal, they would come out on top when the final whistle blew.

Two of their most experienced Champions League campaigners, Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal combined to give them the lead before Bellingham’s ball was sent home by Vinicius Junior, who had scored in the Champions League final back in 2022 as well.

Exceptional bench strength

Los Blancos did not really need much bench strength to win the final. But their squad depth is what helped them make it to the very end of the competition. Joselu, who was brought in as a cover for their forwards last summer, has ended up playing a huge role in their Champions League win.

He scored five goals in the Champions League and averaged a goal every 55 minutes. Real Madrid were down and out against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals and this is when the 34-year-old scored a brace in injury time to script an incredible comeback.

While Joselu’s contribution is quite clear, the fact that they had Luka Modric and Brahim Diaz come in as substitutes in their important games has also played a big part in their success. The Croat provides stability to Carlo Ancelotti’s side, while Diaz adds the attacking threat.

Andriy Lunin, who was their third-choice keeper when the season started, ended up helping them get to the final after they went through an injury crisis. Thibaut Courtois took charge in goal during the final and he managed to keep a clean sheet in what was his first Champions LEague appearance of the season.

Real Madrid’s drive to win the Champions League again

Given the kind of club Real Madrid are, they want to win everything possible but their ultimate goal every season is to win the Champions League. The club is driven by the idea of winning the coveted trophy, and every player that joins the club wants to fulfil his desire of winning the ultimate club competition with the greatest team in its history.

The Spanish giants openly acknowledge the fact that winning the UEFA Champions League is what matters most to them and in recent years they have had a team that has dominated the competition. After a long wait, they won the Champions League in 2014 and followed it up with three back-to-back titles under Zidane from 2016 to 2018 before lifting again in 2022 and 2024.

They are hungry for more and there are players in that dressing room who have only won the UEFA Champions League once or twice and are looking to make it 5, 6 or even more if possible during their time at the club.

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