Champions League Final: Real Madrid Wins 15th European Cup After Defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-0

London – Amidst a shower of gold and silver confetti, Real Madrid lifted the Champions League trophy high for the 15th time on Saturday, a record-breaking achievement.

The most iconic scene in European club football’s greatest competition felt as fresh as ever after a 2-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley Stadium.

Real Madrid fans celebrate during the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
Real Madrid fans celebrate during the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images


“Do you ever get used to it?” asked Carlo Ancelotti, who extended his own record of wins as a coach to five. “Never. The dream continues.”

A white wall of Real Madrid fans at one end of the stadium sang to their triumphant heroes after goals from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior secured the win.

Dani Carvajal scored Real Madrid's opener with a brilliant header. Carl Recine/Reuters
Dani Carvajal scored Real Madrid’s opener with a brilliant header. Carl Recine/Reuters


The expected result came in unexpected circumstances after Dortmund dominated the chances in the first half.

“It was a really tough game, much harder than we anticipated,” Ancelotti said. “We had to make some adjustments because we were a bit sluggish in the first half.”

Carvajal put Real Madrid ahead in the 74th minute, and Vinicius doubled the Spanish giant’s lead nine minutes later.

Vinícius Júnior scored Real Madrid's second goal of the night to seal victory. Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images
Vinícius Júnior scored Real Madrid’s second goal of the night to seal victory. Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images


Ancelotti has now won the Champions League five times, with three of those victories coming during his two tenures at Real Madrid. This achievement places him two titles ahead of his closest competitors: Zinedine Zidane, Pep Guardiola, and Bob Paisley.

Carvajal, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Nacho won the title for the sixth time, matching the record held by Real Madrid legend Paco Gento.

Madrid’s victory comes just a year after Manchester City lifted the trophy for the first time, a win many thought would herald a new era of dominance for Guardiola’s team in Europe. Instead, it was Ancelotti who reinforced his claim as the greatest coach of his generation with his continued Champions League success.

In addition to three titles with Real Madrid, he has also won twice with AC Milan. This season, he also secured the Spanish league title, his sixth league title across five different countries.

Real Madrid’s dominance in the competition is staggering, having won more than double any other team. AC Milan has bagged a total of seven titles, making them the second most successful club in the game.

Real Madrid has won nine titles in the Champions League era, with this being their second in three seasons.

“This is the epic tale of how Real Madrid and the European Cup fell deeply in love. Players come and go, but we can say that this is our competition,” said Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Their dominance looks set to continue, with widespread expectations that Kylian Mbappe will join as a free agent from Paris Saint-Germain during the off-season, and rising Brazilian star Endrick also on his way.

Not that Perez would confirm Mbappe’s arrival.

“You can ask me as many times as you want, but I will only talk about the players who are part of the Real Madrid team,” he said. “And, most importantly, today’s the day we clinched the European Cup victory! Let’s give all the credit to these amazing players.

“The future? We will have to talk about that at another stage.”

But Ancelotti is already thinking about the future.

“At this club, there is a constant demand. It is never satisfied,” he said. “We will return with the same enthusiasm, excitement, and anticipation as before.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti with the Champions League trophy 2024
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti with the Champions League trophy 2024


Dortmund paid the price for not capitalizing on their first-half dominance, with Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois making a series of saves and Niklas Füllkrug hitting the post.

Real Madrid really made their mark in the second half. Carvajal seized the opportunity when he connected with a corner kick from Toni Kroos, heading it past Dortmund’s goalkeeper Gregor Kobel.

Vinicius then fired past Kobel to make it 2-0, celebrating wildly as his goal dashed Dortmund’s hopes of one of the biggest upsets in modern Champions League history. Later, Vinicius celebrated and took selfies with rapper Jay-Z, who was among the crowd of 86,000.

This was Dortmund’s second defeat in a final, after losing to Bayern Munich in 2013 when the final was also held at Wembley.

Their only win in the competition came in 1997, but for long stretches, the German team looked capable of stopping Madrid after dominating the first-half chances.

Coach Edin Terzić outmaneuvered Ancelotti tactically in every aspect, with Real Madrid’s stars subdued.

Only a combination of Courtois and the goal frame kept the score level at halftime after the goalkeeper twice denied Karim Adeyemi and saw Füllkrug’s sliding shot rebound off the post.

Terzić summed it up perfectly: “There was a point where the game shifted, and you could see why they’re champions in this competition. We just couldn’t find the net, and that’s what cost us the match.”

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