Real Madrid need more than the favourites tag in the UEFA Champions League final

Real Madrid might come into the UEFA Champions League final as the clear favourites, but they will need more than that tag to beat Borussia Dortmund.

Real Madrid are up there again with the best of sides and find themselves in yet another UEFA Champions League final. No matter how many times they fall down in short strides, the Spanish giants are always way near that grand prize, either through their performances or sheer luck at times.

However, this time around, they will want to get this one over the line as they take on Borussia Dortmund. Among the two, Real Madrid may have had a tougher draw on their road to the final, as they masterminded games against Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

Their progression to the final will be seen as a significant sign of success by Florentino Perez, and a win will put them on a different map to other clubs.  For Real Madrid, a win at Wembley would notch them a historic 15th Champions League crown and will be more than double the tally of their nearest rival in AC Milan.

Incidentally, it would also mean a lot for manager Carlo Ancelotti, as he would add another crown to his trophy cabinet; he has already won La Liga this season. For the club, this would be an unprecedented success and the chance to wrap up a league and European double.

However, to get over the finishing line, they would need more than their favourites tag and legacy against Borussia Dortmund. Real Madrid would need to put on a big show in this Wembley showdown, as it will be up to the players and manager to show what they are capable of.

The defence needs stepping up

The progress against Manchester City and Bayern Munich did show Real Madrid have the class and grit to get over the line owing to their attacking players. But they must step up their defensive work. Three goals were conceded against Manchester City in the home leg, while Bayern Munich almost snatched a win at the Bernabeu.

While their attacking game has been top-class, albeit with a stroke of luck, Ancelotti must tune his backline to its optimum levels to try and keep a clean sheet. They do have some formidable players like Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger fit and available. But Los Blancos need that cohesion in the formation.

Teams have found quick counter attacks as a route to penetrating Real Madrid’s defence, while Borussia Dortmund do have the players with speed and precision to hurt them. Hence, the defence here in this Wembley final will play a crucial role in boosting Real Madrid’s chances to win.

Carlo Ancelotti’s legacy on the line

Florentino Perez has proven himself a ruthless operator and does not see success beyond the European crown. Carlo Ancelotti had fallen prey to these decisions in the past when he chose to sack him after the 2014/15 season, during which the Italian did win the league title.

For Ancelotti, winning the Wembley final is not only about building his legacy but also about protecting his job. Rumours suggest that Perez might sign Xabi Alonso in the summer of 2025. But he could accelerate the decision to part ways with Ancelotti if they lose the Champions League final.

Hence, the Italian tactician needs to protect his legacy with a masterclass of a performance at Wembley. He will want another Champions League crown added to his long list of titles, but the road is long and hard for the Italian ahead of the showdown.

Real Madrid’s attackers must step up

The 3-3 draw with Manchester City illustrated that Real Madrid have the means to hurt even the meanest of defences, although since then, they have not been as effective in the final third as Carlo Ancelotti might have wanted. Despite boasting some of the best talents in the likes of Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, they had to rely on the heroics of veteran striker Joselu to bail them over the line in the second leg against Bayern Munich.

Hence, these attackers, like the Brazilian duo and Jude Bellingham, need to step up in the Final and showcase their big-game mentality even at their current young age. They must finish off the game early on rather than relying once again on someone like Joselu, who seriously underrates their attacking group.

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