Champions League Final: Real Madrid Seals 15Th European Cup After 2-0 Win Over Borussia Dortmund

Lenny Kravitz performs ahead of the the Champions League final soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Lenny Kravitz performs ahead of the the Champions League final soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, June 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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LONDON (AP) — In an explosion of gold and silver confetti, Real Madrid held aloft the Champions League trophy for a record-extending 15th time on Saturday.

The most familiar sight in European club soccer’s greatest competition felt as fresh as ever after a 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley Stadium.

“Getting used to it? Never,” said Carlo Ancelotti, who extended his own record of wins as a coach to five. “The dream continues.”

A white wall of Madrid fans at one end of the stadium serenaded their conquering heroes after goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior sealed the victory.

A predictable result came in less than predictable circumstances after Dortmund dominated the chances in the first half.

“It was a very difficult game, much more difficult than we had expected,” Ancelotti said. “We changed things because in the first half we were a bit lazy.”

Carvajal headed Madrid in front 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 spells with Madrid and two more than his closest rivals Zinedine Zidane, Pep Guardiola and Bob Paisley.

Carvajal, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Nacho won the trophy a sixth time to equal the benchmark set by Madrid icon Paco Gento.

Madrid’s win comes just a year after Manchester City lifted the trophy for the first time, a victory many believed would herald a new era of dominance for Guardiola’s team in Europe. Instead, it was Ancelotti who underlined his case to be considered the finest coach of his generation for his continued supremacy in the Champions League.

As well as three titles with Madrid, he was a two-time winner with AC Milan. He also lifted the Spanish title this season - his sixth league championship won in five different countries.

Madrid’s dominance of the competition defies belief, having won more than double than anyone else. Milan is the second most successful club with seven.

Madrid has won nine titles in the Champions League era and this was its second in three seasons.

“This is the love story between Real Madrid and the European Cup. Players come, players go, but we can say that this is our competition,” Madrid president Florentino Perez said.

Its dominance will take some breaking with Kylian Mbappe widely expected to join as a free agent from Paris Saint-Germain during the offseason and Brazil’s rising start Endrick on his way.

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 said. “And above all today, when we just won a European Cup. These are the players who deserve all the praise.

“The future? We will have to talk about that at some other point.”

Ancelotti, though, is already thinking about the future.

“In this club there is constant demand. It is never satisfied,” he said. “We will come back with same eagerness and with same excitement and anticipation as before.”

Dortmund paid the price for not making the most of its first half superiority when Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois pulled off a series of saves and Niclas Fullkrug hit the post.

Madrid took full advantage after the break when Carvajal met Kroos’ corner at the near post to power a header past Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel.

Vinicius fired past Kobel to make it 2-0 and raced off in celebration after his goal killed off Dortmund hopes of pulling off one of the biggest Champions League upsets in recent memory. Later, Vinicius celebrated and posed for selfies with rapper Jay-Z, who was in the crowd of 86,000.

It was the second time Dortmund has lost in the final, having been beaten by Bayern Munich in 2013 when the showpiece occasion was also staged at Wembley.

Its only win in the competition was in 1997, but for a long time, the German side looked capable of halting Madrid after dominating the chances in the first half.

Coach Edin Terzic tactically outmanoeuvred Ancelotti in every department, and Madrid’s stars were subdued.

Only a combination of Courtois and the frame of the goal kept the scores level at the break after the keeper twice kept Karim Adeyemi from scoring and then watched as Fullkrug’s sliding effort came back off the post.

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


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