Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation

The most credible news source in Barbados

Real Madrid wins 15th European Cup

June 1, 2024
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images via CNN Newsource

(CNN) — Few teams have faced down Real Madrid in a Champions League final with as much conviction as Borussia Dortmund displayed at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.

In the end, however, the result was the same as it always is.

Despite suffering and defending for the vast majority of the final, clinging on for dear life at times, Real Madrid will leave London with a record-extending 15th European Cup after late goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinícius Júnior earned Los Blancos a 2-0 win and broke Dortmund hearts.

It was a particularly cruel end for Dortmund defender Ian Maatsen, who needlessly gave away the corner for Carvajal’s header before gifting Real possession for Vinícius’ goal just minutes later.

After a night of mostly toil, it was once again Real celebrating at the full-time whistle in a Champions League final, the fans in a wall of white serenading their unbeatable team.

Not since losing 1-0 to Liverpool in 1981 has Real been defeated in a European Cup final, now a run of nine successive victories that have spanned 43 years and taken the club’s total tally to 15 – more than twice the amount second-placed AC Milan have racked up.

Dortmund rues missed chances

The mood inside the stadium was decidedly different ahead of kick off. The famous ‘Yellow Wall’ was in fine voice almost an hour before the start of the game, transplanted brick by brick, fan by fan from Dortmund to Wembley without missing a beat.

Sensing the Real Madrid end was being outsung by the Dortmund fans, Vinícius gave an early fist pump towards those supporters in white to coax a booming roar from them.

That burst aside, however, it was the Dortmund fans making all of the noise inside the opening 10 minutes; their relentless, deafening chants filling the gloomy London sky above Wembley Stadium.

There must be few sights in football more daunting than lining up against Real Madrid in a Champions League final.

But Dortmund was brave early on. Edin Terzić’s side fearlessly passed the ball out from the back, though a couple of particularly risky balls almost gifted Real possession.

It was the team’s slick passing that created the first real chance of the final, but Julian Brandt got the ball caught under his feet and skewed his shot horribly wide with only Thibaut Courtois to beat in the box.

That move sparked a flurry of gilt-edged chances for Dortmund.

Niclas Füllkrug had a close-range header saved and an effort that hit the post and rolled agnozingly across the goalline, while Karim Adeyemi had two glorious one-on-one opportunities but failed to convert either.

Real Madrid shows invincibility

Over the years, Real has developed an unerring knack for producing improbable comebacks in the Champions League.

Defender Nacho once said the team possessed “magic” on European nights like these but tonight felt as though there was some supernatural force preventing Dortmund from scoring.

The missed chances did nothing to dampen the spirits of Dortmund fans, however, almost 40,000 of them jumping in unison to shake Wembley’s foundations.

It was an utterly dominant first half from Dortmund, the team paying no heed to Real’s remarkable record and aura of invincibility in this competition.

The Dortmund players were met with a deafening roar of approval when the referee blew for half time. Real fans, however, were stood in stunned silence. As they had been for much of the first half.

The team not only looked rattled defensively but utterly toothless going forward, each attack snuffed out comfortably by Dortmund’s defense.

It is truly an unusual sight to see Real floundering so badly in the Champions League, though there remained an overwhelming sense that Dortmund would eventually be left to rue all of those missed chances.

There were some early signs of life from the men in white early in the second half – Toni Kroos’ free-kick being kept out in stunning fashion by Gregor Kobel – but back Dortmund came.

The team continued to dominate inside the opening 20 minutes and Füllkrug had another glorious opportunity saved by Courtois.

The Belgian stopper produced one of the all time great performances in a Champions League final when Real beat Liverpool two years ago, and he was at his best again after only returning from injury in time for the game.

Then the inevitable happened. First through Carvajal’s header and then when Maatsen passed the ball straight to Bellingham, allowing the Englishman to find Vinícius who dinked the ball over Kobel.

Even with hope totally fading as the remaining seconds of stoppage time wore on – and faced by thousands of jumping, exuberant Real fans – Dortmund supporters defiantly held up their scarves and continued to sing.

They thought they were finally given a moment to belatedly celebrate when Füllkrug found the back of the net, but they weren’t even afforded that as the goal was ruled out for offside.

“Campeones, campeones olé, olé, olé,” came the chant from Real supporters as Carvajal waited to hoist the trophy above his head.

It will be a sleepless night for both sets of players and fans, but for very different reasons.

About The Author

Share this!