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Real Madrid En route To UEFA Champions League Final. 

Real Madrid will battle with Borussia Dortmund in this year’s UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium on 1 June.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid will battle with Borussia Dortmund in this year’s UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium on 1 June. It is a record 18th time, that Madrid has managed to reach the finals of the biggest European club competition. The 14 times Champions had to dig deep to defeat Bayern Munich in the semi-finals after going 1-0 down before recovering with two minutes to go. Let’s look at their path to the final. 

Finish Group Stages With A 100 Percent Record

The time Los Blancos were drawn in a group consisting of Union Berlin, Napoli, and Braga – the writing was on the wall that they would cruise past the group easily. They didn’t disappoint either as they finished with six victories out of six games to keep the 100 percent record. Starting at home against newcomers Berlin, Madrid needed a late goal from Jude Bellingham to record a 1-0 victory. That victory didn’t serve as inspiration to many with predictions that they stand to struggle going forward. 

In the second match, they came on top in a five-goal thriller match against Napoli. Which was followed by the back-to-back wins against Braga. With the qualification secured to the next round, an emphatic 3-0 win over Napoli sent an indication of the team picking at the right time. Then they closed with a win in Germany against Berlin to complete the group with the perfect record.  

Battle With RB Leipzig Missing Key Players

In the round of 16, the Whites faced off RB Leipzig for a place in the quarter-final. Traveling to Germany in the first leg, Madrid were without a couple of players including Bellingham who was their star in the group stages. The likes of David Alaba, and Eder Militao were already nursing the injuries. Then Carlo Ancelotti was forced to put Brahim Diaz upfront as the target man. His decision worked excellently as Diaz scored the only goal in the match to give his side an advantage going to Santiago Bernabeu. Andriy Lunin made an incredible nine saves in a match to be a hero for Madrid. 

Then the return of Bellingham ensured the home side would have a weapon to win a battle against the German opposition. The 20-year-old Englishman came with the assist to Vinicius Junior early in the second half before Willi Orban equalized three minutes later. Madrid managed to hang on to record a 2-1 aggregate win to proceed to the next round. 

Defensive Approach Over Manchester City

The time it was announced that Manchester City and Real Madrid would collide in the quarter-finals round, fans across the globe were already eagerly waiting for the results. It was the fourth time these European football powerhouses met in the knockout round in the last five seasons. The tie didn’t disappoint either. Despite being dominated on their turf, Madrid came back twice to walk away with a 3-3 draw at home. It was the performance categories with the tactical discipline from the players. 

In the second leg, Los Blancos took a surprise lead through Rodrygo inside the opening 15 minutes of the game. Despite being too good defensively for the whole night, Kevin De Bruyne leveled the match as the extra time came begging. With both teams failing to find the winner, penalties were the option in hand to decide the tie. On penalties, Madrid goalie Lunin saved penalties to be the difference and send his team to the semi-finals.

Incredible Comeback Over Bayern Munich

Facing Bayern Munich in the semi-finals, Madrid knew it going to be a big clash for them as both teams have continental experience. In the first leg at Allianz Arena, Vinicius Junior ran the show scoring a brace as Madrid obtained a 2-2 draw. With the second leg at home, they were big favorite to book the second final appearance in three years. 

Despite dominating the match from the start, the home side failed to capitalize on the opportunities they created. Then Alphonso Davies scored an astonishing goal outside the box to give the visitors a surprising breakthrough. With the time running out and homers on the brink of going out, substitute Joselu scored twice in three minutes to send the Kings of Europe to yet another Champions League final. The incredible comeback left fans asking themselves what it takes to defeat the side. 

Key Players

Andriy Lunin

At the start of the season, Lunin was the third-choice goalkeeper for the side. But the injuries of Thibaut Courtois and Kepa Arrizabalaga saw him occupying the number one spot. Throughout the knockout stages, he has come to life with wonderful performances including the game against Manchester City. It no doubt the club would have not traveled so far in the tournament without his contributions. 

Vinicius Junior

 In nine matches, Junior has five goals plus four assists under his name. He has excelled especially in the knockout rounds and where it mattered most. There is no doubt he showed the class over two legs against Bayern Munich, firstly scoring a brace. Then in the return leg, he was a nightmare to Joshua Kimmich on the right side. The Brazilian has taken his game to another level and proving to be one of the best players in the world so far. 

Jude Bellingham 

At the age of 20, Bellingham has taken the world by storm since arriving at Real Madrid at the start of the season. He has delivered good performances and his level of maturity is totally out of this world. He has been a great addition to the Madrid side and is playing like he has been there for a long time. His versatility is key to the team.

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