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Champions League final: A look at Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's performances in Europe's ultimate club competition

If Real Madrid manage to script another win, this will be their record-extending 15th UCL title. For those unaware, the second-best performance in the competition's history have been by AC Milan with seven trophies.
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 16:29 IST
Last Updated : 01 June 2024, 16:29 IST

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The most anticipated night in European football is among us as serial winners Real Madrid clash with Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final tonight at the Wembley Stadium in London.

If Real Madrid manage to script another win, this will be their record-extending 15th UCL title. For those unaware, the second-best performance in the competition's history have been by AC Milan with seven trophies.

As the two teams from Spain and Germany gear up for what will likely be another epic night in European football, here we take a short look at Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's performance in the tournament:

Real Madrid:

The 14-time champions are unofficially the kings of European football, having won the European Cup (the earlier version of the UCL) on 5 consecutive occassions since the tournament began in 1956. Argentine great Alfredo Di Stefano, along with other club legends Francisco 'Paco' Gento and José María Zárraga were the only three players involved in all five triumphs.

From 1960 to the fag end of the 20th century, Los Blancos' luck ran dry in Europe's top football competition, except for the 1965-66 season, when Paco Gento led the side to glory. This made him the player with most European Cup final wins in history with 6.

Madrid became European champions once again in 1997-98, beating a strong Juventus that had legends of the game on its side like Didier Deschamps, Edgar Davids, and one young Zinedine Zidane, whose tryst with Los Blancos would go on to become the stuff that dreams are made of.

Real won the UCL once again in 1999-2000, and followed it up with another triumph in the 2001-02 season, this time with World Cup winning France captain Zidane in their side, who would go on to score a stunner against Bayer Leverkusen in the final.

After this, there was a period of lull in Real Madrid's fate in the Champions League as they were out in search for La Decima, or their 10th title in the competition. This finally happened in 2013-14 season, when a certain Cristiano Ronaldo was the brightest star among the Los Blancos glitterati.

With Ronaldo in charge of affairs up front and 2002 win hero Zidane as manager, Madrid scripted history once again by winning the UCL on three consecutive occasions - 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, except for the 2014-15 season when their eternal rivals Barcelona won the competition, thanks to the exploits of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar.

Their last win came in the 2021-22 season, when the defeated Liverpool to seal their 14th title.

Borussia Dortmund:

Dortmund will clearly be the underdogs tonight, with their wins in Europe hardly at par with Madrid. They managed to win the Champions League once in 1996-97, and were runners-up to rivals Bayern Munich in 2012-13. They have also played in the lower division of European competitions, coming runners up UEFA Cup in 1992-93 and 2001-02.

Borussia Dortmund have not travelled so far in this season's Champions League to be mere witnesses to Real Madrid lifting the trophy for a record-extending 15th time, coach Edin Terzic vowed on Friday on the eve of the Wembley showdown.

"You don't play a final, you win a final and that is our clear goal," Terzic, who will be up against his role model Carlos Ancelotti, told reporters before leading a training session on the pristine turf in north west London.

"We're happy to be here but we have to win at Wembley Stadium against Real Madrid, to hold that trophy in our hands."

Dortmund finished a distant fifth in the Bundesliga this season and few would have given them much hope of reaching their first Champions League final since 2013 when Wembley also hosted their defeat against favourites Bayern Munich.

With Reuters inputs

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Published 01 June 2024, 16:29 IST

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