Opinion | Real Madrid
I have no doubt that David Alaba learned on Wednesday night how special it must be to wear Real Madrid‘s badge in the Champions League. This year, he was playing for Bayern Munich, the best team in the competition by far. They had so many shots, won by a goal in the opponent’s stadium and still went out, unable to win the competition for a second year in a row. Bayern won’t even be among the best four in the tournament.
On the same day, Pep Guardiola was talking with irony as he said it’s a failure not to be champion of this tournament. He spoke about how important it is to have qualified for the Champions League 11 times in a row. Not about playing finals, but about having a ball in the draw.
Now, think about what Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid have done. And Toni Kroos and Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema and even Lucas Vazquez. Other players who were considered too old, too slow, too past-it, too overrated or too expensive. They went out two years in a row in the last 16 and were deemed failures, after achieving what Bayern Munich, Neymar, PSG and Manchester City haven’t.
To win one Champions League takes a lot. To win it three times in a row costs a lot more. They spoke about it only being seven matches and leagues being more valuable. I just think about how Bayern Munich couldn’t defend their title, just like Liverpool couldn’t last year when Marcos Llorente appeared.
The fact that Real Madrid travelled on a Tuesday the 13th – Spain’s equivalent of a Friday 13th – and stayed at the Titanic Hotel on the anniversary of when the ship sunk has led some to believe they’ll have bad luck. But, Luka Modric said in his pre-match press conference that all the injuries Real Madrid are suffering has made them more united. Real Madrid are strong. They are the kings of Europe.