Marcelo, Carvajal, Nacho, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Bale and Benzema aim for their fifth Champions League, the first ahead of Vinicius, Rodrygo, Valverde or Militao
In the same course in which he sacked Paco Gento, Real Madrid have the opportunity to place nine members of the current squad just one step below the record holder of titles in the old European Cup. Marcelo, Carvajal, Nacho, Casemiro, Kroos, Modric, Isco, Bale and Benzema aim to lift their fifth ‘orejona’. A reward that, on the other hand, would be the first in the competition that forms the backbone of the history of the Chamartín club for the litter of young talents that the entity led by Florentino Pérez has recently gathered with the aim of gaining the witness of a golden generation that refuses to say its last word.
Twelve years after Zinedine Zidane’s volley to seal the whites’ ninth crown in Glasgow, Real Madrid only had eyes for the Champions League. Capturing the ‘tenth’ had become an obsession until the arrival of Jose Mourinho for a side self-conscious about Pep Guardiola’s Barca and at odds with the ‘curse of the round of 16’. Setúbal’s coach crashed into the wall of the semi-final three times before Florentino Pérez ended the Portuguese’s volcanic journey in Chamartín to make way for diplomat Carlo Ancelotti.
Gareth Bale landed with the Italian in exchange for €101 million for Tottenham, making the Cardiff Express the most expensive asset in Real Madrid’s history. That astronomical investment had only one goal: to sit on the throne that awaited in Lisbon, the venue designated by UEFA for a final that would take on an all-Spanish accent by bringing Real Madrid and Atletico together for the first time. Sergio Ramos’ goal in added time led to extra time in which there was no color other than white.
Marcelo and Bale, goalscorers in extra time, inaugurated their run of titles in Real Madrid’s favorite league, as did two youth players such as Carvajal and Nacho who fulfilled their childhood dreams. The same happened to Casemiro, then a secondary actor who, however, was key to paving the way to the Portuguese capital with his decisive performance in the second leg of the quarter-final against Borussia Dortmund. Also for Modric, Isco and Benzema, three stars signed with a checkbook that would play a predominant role in the royal cycle that was born in the Estádio Da Luz.
Only Juventus, winner in the semi-finals of the 2014-15 season, though later defeated by Barça in the final in Berlin, managed to curb the hegemony that moved Real Madrid to Milan in 2016, Cardiff in 2017 and Cardiff in 2017 . with Toni Kroos, who had hit the air with Bayern in 2013, in his roster.
The incomparable amount of experience accumulated by those nine four-time European champions Ancelotti has under his tutelage is one of Real Madrid’s key guarantees in its bid to match the ‘fourteenth’ in Paris and should guide Vinicius, Rodrygo, Valverde or Militao, neophytes in these battles but already turned into fundamental pieces for the king of the continent. “They have played and won many finals. They say we have to keep calm and keep doing the same thing, it’ll be okay,” says Rodrygo. The veterans are “under the illusion of continuing to achieve things. It is very admirable that after having won so many champions, they want to continue to do this,” added Valverde, who considers it “a privilege” to belong to Real Madrid.
Courtois, Lunin, Mendy, Camavinga, Hazard and Jovic also don’t know what it’s like to win the Champions League, something that is especially noticeable in the case of the two Belgian players. The winger was the emblem of the Premier League for ten years, but since 2019 has always been at odds with the fetish league of which his squad is part. The same goes for the goalkeeper, who stroked Atlético glory in 2014 until the Imperial Sergio Ramos’ header woke the mattresses from their slumber, and he left Chelsea two years before the ‘blues’ took the second crown in their history in Porto. “It’s a dream to play for Real Madrid and if you can add a little bit to their history by winning a final it would mean a lot for my career. It’s the dream of a boy of 7 or 8 years old who is doing it.” thought I’d come here, hopefully it will be Saturday,” he says.
Lucas Vázquez, on the other hand, cherishes three ‘orejonas’, who opened the bill by throwing the first penalty of the round that decided the final in Milan with astonishing confidence and also took part in the successes in Cardiff and Kiev. Asensio raised two with Real Madrid, the same one Alaba pinned with the Bayern Munich shirt. The list of champions in Ancelotti’s squad is completed by Vallejo and Ceballos, present in the photo from Kiev, as well as Mariano, a member of the squad who was enthroned in Cardiff a year earlier.
Thiago Alcantara is the only footballer in Liverpool’s current squad who knows what it means to win the Champions League more than once. The Spanish midfielder raised the ‘orejona’ with Barca in 2011 and repeated with Bayern Munich in 2020. Jürgen Klopp retains in his ranks 15 of the footballers who were on the throne at Liverpool in 2019, when the ‘reds’ defeated Tottenham in the held final. at the Metropolitan. They are Allisson, Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Robertson, Matip, Fabinho, Milner, Keita, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino, Mane and Salah.
Source: La Verdad
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