Real Madrid clinches their 15th European Cup with a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund

On Saturday, in an explosion of gold and silver confetti, Real Madrid lifted the Champions League trophy for the record-breaking 15th time. The most recognizable image at European club soccer’s pinnacle felt as fresh as ever after a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley Stadium.

“Getting used to it?” Never,” stated Carlo Ancelotti, who already has five wins as a coach. “The dream continues.” After Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior scored goals to seal the victory, a white wall of Madrid fans serenaded their conquering heroes. Dortmund dominated the chances in the first half, resulting in a predictable outcome under less-than-expected conditions.

“It was a very difficult game, much more difficult than we had expected,” Ancelotti stated. “We changed things because in the first half we were a bit lazy.” Carvajal put Madrid ahead in the 74th minute, and Vinicius doubled the Spanish giant’s lead nine minutes later.

Ancelotti’s fifth Champions League title was his third in two stays at Madrid, surpassing his closest competitors Zinedine Zidane, Pep Guardiola, and Bob Paisley. Carvajal, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Nacho won the trophy for the sixth time, matching the record set by Madrid legend Paco Gento. Madrid’s victory comes only a year after Manchester City captured the trophy for the first time.

Many expected the triumph to begin a new era of domination for Guardiola’s club in Europe. Instead, Ancelotti emphasized his argument for being called the best coach of his generation with his continuing dominance in the Champions League. In addition to three titles with Real Madrid, he won twice with AC Milan. This season, he also won the Spanish league championship, his sixth in five countries.

Madrid’s dominance in the competition defies belief, with more than twice as many wins as anyone else. Milan is the second-most successful club, with seven. Madrid has won nine Champions League titles, the second in three seasons.

“This is the love story of Real Madrid and the European Cup.” Players come and go, but we can claim that this is our competition,” Madrid’s president Florentino Perez stated. With Kylian Mbappe due to join as a free agent from Paris Saint-Germain during the winter and Brazil’s rising star Endrick on his way, it will be difficult to break their domination.

Not that Perez would confirm Mbappe’s arrival. “You can ask me as many times as you want, but I am only going to talk about the players that are on Real Madrid’s team,” he stated. “Especially today, when we have just won the European Cup.” These are the players who deserve all the accolades.

“The future?” We’ll have to discuss that later.” However, Ancelotti is already thinking about the future. “The demand in this club is consistent. “It is never satisfied,” he explained.

“We will come back with same eagerness and with same excitement and anticipation as before.” Dortmund suffered the price for failing to capitalise on their first-half lead when Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved several shots and Niclas Fullkrug hit the post. Madrid capitalized after the break when Carvajal met Kroos’ corner at the near post and powered a header past Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

Vinicius shot past Kobel to make it 2-0 and rushed off in delight after his goal ended Dortmund’s dreams of pulling off one of the biggest Champions League upsets in recent memory. Vinicius later celebrated by taking selfies with rapper Jay-Z, who was in the crowd of 86,000.

Dortmund had previously lost in the final to Bayern Munich in 2013, which was also held at Wembley Stadium. Its only triumph in the competition came in 1997, but the German side appeared capable of stopping Madrid after dominating the first half. Coach Edin Terzic outmanoeuvred Ancelotti in every area, and Madrid’s stars were muted.

Only Courtois and the frame of the goal kept the scores equal at halftime after the keeper twice denied Karim Adeyemi and then watched Fullkrug’s sliding effort rebound against the post.

“There was the momentum when the game turned around and you see why they are the champions of this competition,” Terzic stated. “We couldn’t manage to score and that was the key why we didn’t manage to win the game.”

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