Real Madrid, a club which has had an illustrious history, scripted another chapter in their fairytale when they lifted their 10th UEFA Champions League title on May 24, 2014. The final took place in Lisbon, the home of Cristiano Ronaldo. And Real Madrid made sure that they leave Cristiano’s home with the most prestigious trophy in club football.
The 2014 UEFA Champions League final was a major milestone in world football. The game gave away certain tags and announced Real Madrid’s era of domination in European football. Mr. 92:48, the current captain of the Los Blancos, Sergio Ramos earned himself a tag of being the late finisher for the Men in Whites through this game.
Today, we take a look at one of the most interesting finals in the history of the UEFA Champions League, the 2014 game between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Real Madrid Received An Early Shocker Of A Goal
The final in Lisbon was set to be an all-Spanish final. To add the cherry on the cake, it was the Madrid derby that was set to entertain the Portugal crowd and leave their hearts on the pitch in Lisbon. The two Spanish rivals, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, under the leadership of Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti, walked into the Estádio da Luz stadium amid the 65000 spectators ready to witness 22 men spill their blood and flesh onto the pitch.
The only aspect that separated the two sides, was the illustrious history mentioned earlier. Real Madrid had already won nine Champions League titles coming into the final. Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, were chasing their first-ever title. Although Real had a history with them, Atletico was fuelled with passion.
The same passion was visible enough as the referee blew the first whistle on an auspicious night. Atletico fought and fought well with the Los Blancos and exerted tremendous pressure on set pieces and counter-attacks. The pressure finally paid off in the 36th minute as Diego Godin lobbed the ball over Iker Casillas, the most veteran hero of the Los Blancos squad.
This just goes on to show the amount of pressure involved in such high-profile games. However, the lads on the pitch were men, not boys. And for men, defeat isn’t a possibility until they shed their last ounce of blood in a battle. Same was with Real Madrid. After all, coming into the final, they had avenged a famous defeat against Bayern Munich and depicted that they were ready to become the champions of Europe.
Real Madrid Kept Attacking And Fortune Favoured Them Just When Everyone Thought It Wasn’t Meant To
Going into the second half, Real Madrid knew that from hereon, they have nothing to lose. This is when experience comes into play. Manager Carlo Ancelotti made a couple of attacking substitutions on the half-time mark as Fabio Contreao was replaced with Marcelo on the left-back position and Sami Khedira made way for Isco, the attacking midfielder. Real kept pushing men forward in search of an equalizer but Atletico’s defence was way too resilient.
It was in the 3rd minute of the stoppage time, that witnessed Sergio Ramos pen down his name in the history books of the Spanish giants. The Los Blancos earned a corner and Luka Modric delivered an inch-perfect ball only to see Sergio Ramos, the leader, rise above everybody to slaught the ball past Thibaut Courtois and bring his team back into the game.
There are certain moments in a match that completely change the tide of the game. In the 2014 final, it was at 92:48 that Atletico Madrid knew that they have slipped the game from their hands and it was visible not only among players but also on Diego Simeone, a manager who seldom seems out of place in any game.
Cristiano Ronaldo Sealed Off The Victory In His Country For His Team
As Ramos rose to the occasion, the entire stadium went into a frenzy. Real Madrid smelled victory at the very point and knew that their 12-year long wait for the UEFA Champions League title was soon going to come to a close. The match headed into extra-time as per the rules and it saw the Los Blancos join the party.
Angel Di Maria tore apart the Atletico defence in the 110th minute of the game and shot at goal only for the ball to be deflected by Courtois and Gareth Bale to rise up and score a header. Marcelo Vieira, the super sub ran riot through Atletico’s defence and scored a worldie in the 118th minute. To garnish the meal for Real Madrid, their talisman over the years, Cristiano Ronaldo, smashed a penalty in the final minute of the game only to hammer the last nail in the coffin for Atletico Madrid.
The rest, as they say, is history. The 2014 UEFA Champions League final saw Real Madrid announce their domination in world football. After this, the Los Blancos went on to win three consecutive UEFA Champions League titles from 2016 to 2018 and became the first team in the history of football to do so.
Although Real Madrid emerged as a deadlier team in the coming years, it was the 2014 final that set the tone for them to script history time and again when they stepped on the pitch.