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Real Madrid Takes Championship League

Courtesy of UEFA and Getty Images

For the 15th time, Real Madrid has won the UEFA Champions League. The crowd of over 86,000  at Wembley Stadium gathered on Saturday, June 1st, to watch the final matchup between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Real Madrid is no stranger to the Championship finals; they’ve won the title six times in the past 11 seasons. Their win on Saturday came after a tense first half of no goals; then, in the 74th minute, Dani Carvajal scored a header, with forward Vinícius Júnior landing a shot nine minutes later. 

Real opted for a 4-3-1-2 formation, while Dortmund used 4-3-3. Dortmund seemed to outplay Real initially, showing some of the best form they’ve had all season. The first half was difficult for Real, as Dortmund eclipsed them in every aspect of gameplay. Karim Ayedemi had two chances that just didn’t make it, though, and striker Niclas Füllkrug nearly had a shot to fight for the game but struck the pole. Carvajal felt the pressure, saying, “After the first half we didn't even deserve to go to the changing room with a level score, but we came out of the first half alive, knowing that we would have our moment ... and here it is.” 

Real Madrid’s win marked the fifth title for coach Carlo Ancelotti and his third with Real Madrid. "I never get used to it, because it was difficult, very difficult, more than expected," he said. "In the second half we were better—this is a dream that continues."

Real Madrid didn’t play their best in the first half, but they are known for pulling through and snapping into form when it counts.

Courtesy of UEFA and Getty Images

The win was especially meaningful to Real Madrid’s midfielder Toni Kroos, who assisted Carvajal’s header. This was the last game Kroos would play with Real before retirement. Real Madrid has a short cooldown period before players set off to compete in the Euros this summer, with the UEFA Super Cup match against Atalanta following soon after. 

Vinícius Júnior picked up the Champions League player award for his role in Real Madrid’s victory campaign. He scored six goals and made five assists this season. "I'm very happy to be able to win another Champions League with this club, which has given me so much," the 23-year-old forward said. 

Teammate Jude Bellingham was given another recognition, picking up the Young Player Award. This was his first season with the powerhouse team, wracking up four goals and five assists. "I can't put it into words," he said. "It's the best night of my life. It's got to be up there in terms of the perfect season."

While Dortmund fans are sad to see their team’s first appearance in a Championship final since the 2012-13 season ended in a loss, Real Madrid fans were as celebratory as ever as captain Nacho Fernandez hoisted the trophy once again.

Courtesy of UEFA and Getty Images

Edited by: Sarah Muñoz

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