Real beat Dortmund to win Champions League

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Real beat Dortmund to win Champions League

Real Madrid won the men's European Cup for a record-extending 15th time after Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior sealed a 2-0 win over unfortunate Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's Champions League final.

The Wembley victory was an unconvincing sixth triumph in 11 seasons for Madrid in Europe's premier club competition and followed the La Liga title they won last month.

Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti extended his record as the coach with the most men's Champions League titles to five while Germany's Toni Kroos, in his last club game before retirement after Euro 2024, joins 1950s and 60s Madrid hero Paco Gento in winning a sixth European Cup.

Carvajal, Luka Modrić and Nacho are also now on six victories.

Jude Bellingham told TNT Sports: "I have always dreamed of playing in these games. I cannot put it into words. The best night of my life."

It was more heartbreak for 1997 winners Dortmund, who dominated the first half. They missed out on the Bundesliga title last season with practically the last kick of the campaign and lost their last Champions League final also at Wembley in 2013 to Bayern Munich.

Dortmund's Marco Reus came off the bench for his final appearance for the club but leaves with just two German Cup titles in 12 years.

Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel said: "It is just disappointment after such a game and such an opportunity. Against Real Madrid you don't get many chances. In the end they hit us with their quality."

German fans made more noise and turned London black and yellow before kick-off but the surprise packages of the European season, only fifth in the Bundesliga, ran out of luck against the record champions.

In the most watching annual sporting event on the planet, with an estimated 450 million people tuning in and ex-Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp among almost 90,000 in the stands, both sides were as expected.

Pop star Lenny Kravitz rocked the opening ceremony, but the game had a slow start after spectators ran on the field early on, with Wembley security personnel equally slow to react.

Dortmund's Julian Brandt – surprisingly not in Germany's Euro squad – then had the first decent chance before Karim Adeyemi beat Madrid's offside trap after Mats Hummels' great pass, but was pushed too wide.

Thibaut Courtois, back in Madrid's goal after a knee ligament tear and with Andriy Lunin ill, did a fine job to put him off.

His Madrid team-mates, including England's Bellingham who signed from Dortmund last June, were struggling to get in the game in contrast.

The Germans were dominating and midway through the first half, Niclas Füllkrug's sliding effort came back off the post.

Flying Dortmund, who provoked criticism in midweek by announcing a sponsorship with armaments maker Rheinmetall, kept at it and winger Adeyemi was again denied by Courtois as Los Blancos looked rattled.

The usually unflappable Ancelotti seemed worried on the sidelines and held his breath when Vinicius got away with a booking for a late challenge on Kobel.

Courtois, not in Belgium's Euro squad, soon palmed Marcel Sabitzer's shot wide and Dortmund went in at the break wondering how it was 0-0.

Kroos tested Kobel with a second-half free-kick as Madrid improved. Carvajal had two chances, while Füllkrug and Bellingham went close.

A Kroos corner on 74 minutes was then glanced in by defender Carvajal to change the Wembley mood and Bellingham narrowly missed soon after.

Brazil's Vinicius, who got the winner when beating Liverpool in the 2022 final, then made the game safe on 83 minutes with his left foot. Füllkrug's late header was ruled offside.

After coming through a 'group of death' as well as beating Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, Dortmund appeared destined for glory.

But Madrid, who controversially beat Bayern in their semi, have a knack of winning in this competition when not playing well.

Dortmund can be consoled by already having qualified for next season's revamped competition despite finishing fifth domestically.

Their success in making the final, along with Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen being Europa League runners-up, means Germany receive an extra Champions League spot. But the defeat sends sixth-placed Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt into the Europa League not the Champions League.


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