History Made as Real Madrid Cruise to Third Straight Champions League Title

Jonathan Grant | May 27th, 2018

Anyone that has ever played, and won, in a sport will know that repeating that is tough. It takes skill, dedication, and a mental edge that few others have. It requires more than simply winning. It requires you to continue to want to win. To not be complacent. That is what makes this year’s Champions League victory so special for Real Madrid. It is their third in a row and fourth in the last five years, capping what has been a dominating run through Europe after going so long without winning the title.

To put this win into perspective, here are a couple of stats. No team before Madrid last year had won the title two years in a row since the tournament was rebranded the Champions League. That was done back in 1992, showing you just how long it had been. The great Barcelona team, a great AC Milan side, and many other classy teams. To go further, this is the first time any team had won the tournament three times running since Bayern Munich did it between 1973 and 1976. Only the Minneapolis Lakers, Boston Celtics (who won eight times in a row), the Chicago Bulls twice, and the Los Angeles Lakers can boast that in the NBA. Only the New York Yankees and Oakland A’s, a long time ago have done in in the MLB. No NFL team has ever done so.

images.performgroup.com

How did Real Madrid do it? They did it by defeating a hungry Liverpool team that had made it to a surprising final. The Spanish team had far more experience on their side, but they have aged as well, so it was a contest from the beginning against the upstarts. Unfortunately, things took a poor turn for both teams as they lost key players to injury. Mohamed Salah, a player that scored 44 goals this season, injured his shoulder. From there, the night turned upside down for Liverpool. Cristiano Ronaldo would try to comfort him, and it’s an image that will live on, but it was a horrible sight nonetheless.

Errors played a major role. The first goal came in the second half when Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius threw the ball into a Madrid player- Karim Benzema. This interception allowed an easy goal, and it would force Liverpool to press hard for the equalizing goal. They’d get it soon through Sadio Mane, but the night was not theirs to have. Enter stage left: Gareth Bale. The Welsh superstar, frequently undervalued burst onto the pitch and scored an outrageous bicycle kick that gave Madrid the lead, and from there, it was over. The energy was gone. He’d add a second goal later, another mistake from Karius. It just goes to show that to win in Europe, you have to have luck, skill, and make no mistakes on the day. Madrid have done that three years running.

Next Article
  • Harden Drops 61

    It’s not even a surprise anymore. It’s come to be expected, such is the level of skill associated with James Harden, who put up 61 points on Friday night in a 111-105 win over rivals San Antonio. Coming off the back of 57 points in a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, this was among his...

    Read More
  • Lakers Miss Playoffs

    In other NBA news, the Los Angeles Lakers’ misery was confirmed on Friday night. They will not be heading to the playoffs, marking the sixth straight year where that has been said. We’ve all known that this has been coming for a while now, but this is only confirmation of it as it has become...

    Read More
  • UVA Gets By

    Virginia came into Friday afternoon’s game with a point to prove after last year’s shocking debacle that saw them lose, as a #1 seed, to #16 seed UMBC, the first time a #1 had fallen in the very first round. On Friday, however, they looked tepid and scared. At least for a little while. But...

    Read More
  • UC Irvine Impresses

    It’s not been the most rocky of NCAA Tournaments thus far, with a lot of chalk and expected ‘upsets’ taking place, but the biggest one so far has been UC Irvine’s 70-64 win over Kansas State. The #13 seed Anteaters came into Friday’s game without a single win in a tournament ever. No NCAA wins...

    Read More
  • Morant Leads Rare Upset on Day 1 Of NCAA’s

    On a day in the NCAA Tournament that offered up very few true upsets, Ja Morant provided one. Perhaps it’s not too big of an upset, either, but it’s as close as we got to seeing a major one given that his #12 seed Murray State team went out and won 83-64 over #5 seed...

    Read More
  • Magee Breaks Threes Record

    Wofford, another unfashionable underdog that has risen to widespread popularity this season, had a record set on Thursday in the tournament. The #7 seed Terriers won 84-68 over #10 seed Seton Hall in Jacksonville, and to go one better they had sharpshooter Fletcher Magee set the NCAA Division I mark for most threes made in...

    Read More
  • Ichiro Takes Bow

    The Opening Series of the MLB season finished up on Thursday, and it saw the Seattle Mariners win 5-4 in 12 innings in Japan over the Oakland A’s. Domingo Santana once again came up clutch, despite a fielder’s choice to give the Mariners a 2-0 record to begin the season. However, the big story was...

    Read More
  • Ichiro Stars in MLB Opener

    Whether you like it or not, and whether you ever were aware of it happening or not, the MLB season began on Wednesday in Japan with the Opening Series between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics. Having resigned Ichiro Suzuki, the Mariners started the 45 year old legend in Tokyo, much to the approval...

    Read More