Real Madrid: European Champions 'Have Done Remarkable Things'

Real Madrid's latest European triumph has been built on drama and incredible comebacks - and has been achieved eight months after they were on the wrong end of one of the great Champions League shocks.

Last September, the Spanish giants were conducting an inquest after losing at home to Moldova's Sheriff Tiraspol in the group stage.

On Saturday, Real were crowned champions of Europe for a record 14th time - twice as many as any other club - after defeating Liverpool 1-0 in Paris.

At the full-time whistle, Real boss Carlo Ancelotti celebrated with his players on the pitch as they took in the scale of their achievement.

"They were probably not even the better team so many times in the Champions League this season," French football expert Julien Laurens told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport: "These guys have done remarkable things.

"Real Madrid were not expected to do this, but with every hurdle, they have overcome it with grit and determination."

Real lost four times in 12 Champions League matches on their way to the final. By comparison, defeat at the Stade de France was Liverpool's fourth in 63 matches across all competitions in 2021-22.

Yet Carlo Ancelotti's side finish the campaign kings of Europe after an extraordinary campaign.

Trailing 2-0 to Paris St-Germain on aggregate in the last 16, Real scored three times in the space of 17 second-half minutes to go through.

They also trailed holders Chelsea 4-3 on aggregate in the closing stages of their quarter-final before Rodrygo scored in the 80th minute to force extra-time. They advanced 5-4 on aggregate thanks to Karim Benzema's 96th-minute goal.

And then they produced the comeback of all comebacks in their semi-final against Manchester City.

Real trailed Pep Guardiola's side 5-3 on aggregate with just one minute of normal time remaining in the second leg - but then Brazilian substitute Rodrygo scored twice to force extra time.

Benzema, who has scored seven Champions League goals against English teams this season, then sent Ancelotti's side to Paris with a penalty.

Even against Liverpool in the final, Real had to weather a strong start by Jurgen Klopp's side - and won despite only managing two attempts on target.

"In my time, I've never seen a harder route to the final," added Ferdinand.

"They've beaten PSG, they beat the champions of England. It's breathtaking."

Former Real Madrid and Liverpool winger Steve McManaman added: "Madrid do what they always do. When they get to finals, they win them. It has been the greatest of successes for them because of the manner and style.

"This Madrid team is weaker but they have got to the final and lifted it."



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