Real Madrid are through to a fourth Champions League final in five seasons after drawing 2-2 with German giants Bayern Munich on Tuesday night to beat the visitors 4-3 on aggregate.
Question marks over Real
Many people have questioned Real Madrid’s performances this season, especially of late in the Champions League.
Los Blancos’ progress past Bayern was far from assured, just like in the quarter-finals against Juventus. However, they did just enough to make it through to the final in Kiev on 26th May.
The Spanish giants have been giving teams chance to beat them. Unfortunately, for Bayern, they failed to take those chances. This Real Madrid side is maybe not as good as previous editions. Maybe the years are starting to catch up with some of their players, who have played a lot of football in the last decade. Well getting to the latter stages of every competition virtually season, does take it out players.
Their performances have rightfully been questioned this season. However, these weaknesses and vulnerabilities were not absent from teams of the recent past.
There is already talk of Liverpool having too much for the Spanish side. However, the Reds still have to overcome Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night. Despite Jurgen Klopp’s side taking a 5-2 lead to the Italian capital, the Merseysiders cannot be complacent, just ask Barcelona.
Roma needed a three-goal win in the quarter-finals against Barcelona and they got. The Catalan giants failed to turn up. Liverpool are not Barcelona, but they still cannot believe they already made it to the final.
European know-how goes a long way
Real Madrid have endured a tricky domestic campaign and look set to finish third La Liga. In terms of campaigns, it is one of their poorer ones in recent years. However, when the Madrid giants take to the field in the Champions League, they seem to be able to up their game. It is almost like a switch they flick for European games.
In the last few seasons, people have believed that Real Madrid would be knocked off their Champions League pedestal. However, winning the competition three times in the last four years shows that Los Blancos are formidable opponents when it comes to Europe’s elite competition.
The Spanish giants have players who step-up on the big occasion, with of course Cristiano Ronaldo being the main man when it comes to being the man to make things happen when it matters most.
Some have said that the European champions have been lucky in previous rounds. However, they know how to manage games and had ultimately are in another Champions League final.
Zidane’s side favourites to lift the trophy
At this moment in time, Real Madrid are the favourites to win the Champions League at odds of 8/11. Whether those odds change depending on who wins the Roma/Liverpool tie is unclear.
One thing is for sure, many people in the British media seem to fancy Liverpool’s chances of beating the Spanish giants in the final if they progress past Roma in tonight’s game.
Liverpool are the only unbeaten side in the Champions League and do look good going forward. However, they also still have defensive frailties and lack the experience of the Spanish giants. That may not matter and the Reds may beat Los Blancos.
For me, though, history tells us never to write off Real Madrid. They have a team full of players who have been there, done that and bought a few t-shirts. This grand old team may have just one last hurrah on the big stage and Kiev could be it.
Will Real Madrid retain the Champions League trophy?
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