In 3rd Jun 2017, history had been made. Real Madrid had become the first club in the Champion League era to retain the title since Arrigo Sacchi AC Milan in 1990 and had become the first club to win the European Cup / Champion League twice consecutively on 2 separate occasions. Fittingly enough this feat had been achieved by their legendary player Zinedine Zidane whom also secured their 9th European Cup for Real Madrid in their centenary year in 2002 with a fantastic winning goal in final against Bayern Leverkusen. They had done something that had seen impossible in the Champion League era and had succeeded where the club like AC Milan in 1995, Ajax Amsterdam in 1997, Juventus in 1998 and Manchester United in 2009 had failed to emulate it. They also had another perfect record in the Champion League era final matches as they had reached 6 final and win all of them in 1998,2000,2002, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Real Madrid had always been obsessed with becoming the best club in the world since the day of Santiago Bernabeu who had bought many of the best players during that time like Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kopa, Ferenc Puskas, Gento, Santamaria, and much more. An even renowned manager like Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Vicente Del Bosque, Helenio Herrera, Fabio Capello, Jupp Heynckes, Miguel Munoz and much more had managed Real Madrid. Real Madrid is absolutely a high-pressure environment for managers as they had ruthlessly sacked Carlo Ancelotti in 2015 after he had delivered the La Decima in 2014 and also sacked their longest ever serving manager Vicente Del Bosque in 2003 after he had delivered 2 Champion League trophy in 2000 and 2002, and finally more ruthlessly they had sacked Jupp Heynckes after he had delivered their first European trophy since 1966 in 1998 but still this is a dream job for some of the top managers in Europe and in the world and also a dream club for some of the best players in the world.
Real Madrid had become a club that had reached a legendary height in the early European Cup competition as they had won the competition 5 consecutive time starting from 1955 to 1960 and the final in 1960 is an icing on the cake for them as they had mercilessly thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt in Hampden Park which had been watched by nearly 100,00 crowd the largest ever for a European Cup final with a scoreline of 7-3 in favour of Madrid. Ferenc Puskas the legendary Hungary striker and Alfredo Di Stefano their talisman had scored 4 and 3 goals each respectively in a performance that had dubbed as one of the best performance by a team in a European Cup final. They also had become the first ever champion of the inaugural Intercontinental Cup in 1960 when they had beat Penarol in the final. The first leg of the competition had ended in 0-0 draw in Uruguay but in the return leg in Spain, Madrid had trashed the Copa Libertadores champions with another thumping performance with a score line of 5-1.
Real Madrid dominance in the competition had been broken with Benfica winning the title in 1961 and Benfica again had won the title in 1962 when they had beaten Real Madrid in the final. Real Madrid reached the final again in 1964 but was defeated by Helenio Herrera’s InterMilan. They had won the competition for the 6th time in 1966 by beating Partizan Belgrade 2-1 in the final. With this win, Real Madrid had kept the old original trophy permanently and they’re the only club in the history of the competition that had fulfilled 2 criteria of keeping the trophy permanently. The first one is winning the title 3 consecutive times and winning it 5 times and with this, they had 2 original trophies with them. The downfall had started when they had been eliminated by Manchester United in 1968 semi-final. They had drawn 1-1 in the England and looks on the course for the 9th European Cup final when they are leading United 3-1 in Spain but a late comeback from United had made the score line 3-3 and Madrid had been knocked out.
After 15 years participating in the European Cup competition and winning 6 of them, Real Madrid for the first time in the history had failed to qualify for the competition in 1970-71 season. They had been in some downward spiral in term of the European Cup as they had not reached the final again until 1981 but they had beaten by Liverpool this time in the final. Real Madrid, however, had reached the final in 1998 and this time they had won the competition for the 7th time in their history and in 2000 they won the trophy again for the 8th time. In 2001, Fiorentino Perez had been appointed as Real Madrid president and its famous galacticos policies had been rewarded in 2002 when Zidane had scored the winning goal in the final and winning the competition for the 9th time.
Again, after winning the Champion League in 2002, Real Madrid had failed to reach the final again and worst to come starting from 2005 until 2010 Real Madrid had failed to progress past the second round in the competition. Fiorentino Perez again had been appointed as the president in 2010 and continued his galacticos policies and again he had been rewarded when Carlo Ancelotti had won their 10th title and Zidane had added another 2 trophies in 2016 and 2017 making them the first club in the Champion League to retain the title.
Real Madrid had assembled some of the best players in the world like Raul, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Iker Casillas, Christiano Ronaldo, Clarence Seedorf and many more and also had appointed the best manager in the business-like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Miguel Munoz, and many more all to be the best club in the world and to win every competition that they had participated. Fittingly enough Real Madrid dominance in the early 50’s and 60’s had earned them the Greatest Football Club in the Decade Award by FIFA in 1999.
Real Madrid will always be a club that associated with European Cup like Brazil for the World Cup. Even Don Revie when managing Leeds United had changed their jersey to white color to make Leeds United as the best club in the world emulating Real Madrid. Many clubs had won the European Cup but no club ever had the aura, power, myth, inspiration and much more like Real Madrid. They are truly the greatest football club ever in the world.