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May 28, 2022 at 8.36pm UK at Stade Auguste Delaune
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Real Madrid's past Champions League finals

Sports Mole takes a look at Real Madrid's past Champions League finals ahead of Saturday's showdown with Liverpool.

Real Madrid will be aiming to win the European Cup/Champions League for a record-extending 14th time when they meet Liverpool in Saturday's 2021-22 final at the Stade de France.

Los Blancos have seen off Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain to book their spot in the showpiece event and are aiming to end a four-year drought without a European honour.

A total of 13 European titles puts them six clear of second-placed AC Milan in the all-time rankings, but there have been a few failures along the way as well.

Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at Real Madrid's previous European Cup/Champions League finals.


The inaugural European Cup took place in the 1955-56 season, and Real's spate of early dominance in the competition would start right away, as they reached the first final in Paris.

Taking on home favourites Reims, Real conceded within six minutes to Michel Leblond before Jean Templin quickly doubled Les Rouges et Blancs lead, but Real made it 2-2 before half-time thanks to Alfredo Di Stefano and Hector Rial.

Reims would restore their one-goal lead just after the hour mark through Michel Hidalgo, but Marquitos restored parity for Real before Rial's second of the game in the 79th minute proved decisive.


Not without a healthy dose of controversy, Real successfully defended their European crown in the 1956-57 season, taking on Fiorentina in the final at their Bernabeu headquarters.

The legendary Di Stefano broke Fiorentina's resistance from the penalty spot in the 69th minute, although Enrique Mateos - who was felled - appeared to have gone down outside the area and from an offside position to boot.

Real Madrid did not care one bit, and a second strike from Francisco Gento off the bar sealed the deal for Los Blancos in front of their own fans.


Once again forced to navigate their way past stiff Italian opposition, Real Madrid sought to make it three from three against AC Milan, and the game would suddenly explode into life in the second half.

The nets would not ripple once in the first 45, but Di Stefano and Rial cancelled out efforts from Milan duo Juan Schiaffino and Ernesto Grillo to force extra-time at the Heysel Stadium.

With 107 minutes on the clock, Gento's relatively tame effort slipped through Narciso Soldan's grasp, and future King of Belgium Albert II would present the Spaniard's with their third collection of European winners' medals.


After seeing off city rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, Real would meet Reims in the 1958-59 final three years after sinking the French side in the maiden showpiece event.

It took Los Blancos less than a minute to break the deadlock in Stuttgart, as Mateos picked the ball up on the left-hand side and managed to beat Dominique Colonna from a tight angle with an outside-of-the-boot effort.

There was to be no way back into the game for Reims, and Di Stefano would end up clinching his and Real Madrid's fourth successive European honour with a drilled effort into the bottom corner just after the restart.


The scoreline says it all.

Real Madrid entered the 1959-60 final with four successive European cups already in the trophy case and with the intention of adding a fifth at Hampden Park, and two of the game's greatest-ever strikers would shine on the Glasgow turf.

It was already 3-1 to Real Madrid by half time thanks to Di Stefano's double and a Ferenc Puskas strike, but Richard Kress has managed to pull one back for Die Adler.

Erwin Stein bagged a second-half brace for the Germans, but Di Stefano completed his hat-trick while Puskas ended the game with four goals to his name, and both sides could now end the 2021-22 season with a continental honour following Frankfurt's Europa League triumph.


By 1962, Di Stefano and Puskas had already cemented their names in Champions League folklore, but now it was the turn of another revered centre-forward to steal the European limelight.

Real's streak of five Champions League triumphs was brought to an end in 1961, and their bid to immediately return to the top of the podium against Benfica in Amsterdam did not bear fruit.

Puskas had a hat-trick to his name by the end of the first half, but with the scores at 3-3 heading into the final half hour, Eusebio's double propelled Benfica to glory - signalling the end of Real's early dominant era.


The revered attacking trio of Gento, Puskas and Di Stefano were well and truly nullified by Inter Milan in Vienna, as the Nerazzurri handed Los Blancos a second consecutive defeat in a European Cup final in style.

Sandro Mazzola had the ball in the back of the net for Inter just before half time, and the Italian giants would double their lead just after the hour mark through Aurelio Milani.

Felo would pull one back for Real Madrid with 20 minutes to go, but Mazzola made it a brace for himself not long after to hand Los Blancos even more continental misery.


Determined to avoid a third successive defeat in a European Cup final, Real Madrid faced off against Serbian superpowers Partizan in 1965-66, but Los Blancos were fighting an uphill battle late on.

Sweeper Velibor Vasovic powered a bullet header home in the 55th minute of the contest to give Partizan the lead, but Amancio Amaro's well-taken goal 15 minutes later would level proceedings.

Then, a goal worthy of winning any title came Real Madrid's way, as Fernando Serena unleashed a thunderous half-volley into the roof of the net to end Real's six-year wait for a sixth European Cup.


The less said about the 1970s in European football for Real Madrid the better, and not until 1981 would Los Blancos reach the final again - this time against upcoming opponents Liverpool in the Parc des Princes.

At this time, Real had passed the European torch onto the dominant Reds, and it only took the one goal for Bob Paisley's side to come up trumps in the French capital 41 years ago.

With eight minutes remaining, Alan Kennedy picked up the ball on the left-hand side, darted into the area and finished with aplomb to hand Real Madrid a third defeat from their last four continental finals at the top level.


Real Madrid celebrate beating Juventus in the Champions League final on May 20, 1998© Reuters

By the time the 1997-98 tournament rolled around, it had been a painful 32 years since Real last tasted success in Europe's primary competition, but their luck was in at the Amsterdam Arena.

Juventus awaited a Real Madrid side now boasting the likes of Roberto Carlos, Raul and Clarence Seedorf in their ranks, but it would end up being a relatively unknown name to clinch the crown for Los Blancos.

Indeed, former Yugoslavia international Predrag Mijatovic would pounce on a loose ball and fire home from a tight angle in the 66th minute, and Real Madrid held on to end their continental drought and spark a new wave of Champions League successes.


An all-Spanish final took place in France following the turn of the millennium, but it was something of a mismatch in truth, as Real Madrid stormed to their eighth European Cup in emphatic fashion.

Fernando Morientes's back-post header saw Los Blancos head into half time with a 1-0 advantage, and Steve McManaman would double that advantage with a sumptuous scissor-kick volley in the second period.

Vicente del Bosque's men would add another through Raul when every outfield Valencia player had committed themselves to the attack, and the striker had a clean run at goal for a good 60 yards before slotting home for the champions.


Hampden Park had already played host to one spectacular Champions League final involving Real Madrid in 1960, but one volley from a celebrated Frenchman dwarfed all 10 goals that flew in during that 7-3 thriller.

Facing German outsiders Bayer Leverkusen in the 2001-02 final, a long throw allowed Raul to prod home the opener inside eight minutes before Lucio's header brought Real Madrid right back to square one.

However, Bayer Leverkusen learned their lesson about not giving Zinedine Zidane too much time and space to pick out the top corner, as the illustrious Frenchman did exactly that on the volley from Roberto Carlos's cross in one of the Champions League's most iconic goals to date - one which handed Real a ninth European title.


Twelve years of English, Italian and Catalan dominance in the Champions League - not forgetting Porto of course - was a painful sight for Real Madrid supporters, and the 2014 final was on the verge of ending in tears after Diego Godin sent Atletico Madrid a goal to the good after 36 minutes.

Staring down the barrel of defeat, up stepped Sergio Ramos and his 92:48 moment, as the Spaniard headed home to force extra time, where Carlo Ancelotti's side would run riot.

Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo all got in on the act as the explosive Diego Simeone saw red, and the Estadio da Luz crowd were then treated to the sight of Real lifting their 10th top-flight European title.


A sense of deja vu befell Atletico and Simeone at San Siro for the 2016 Champions League final, especially with Ramos proving to be the thorn in the Rojiblancos' side once again.

Ramos poked home from a goalmouth scramble to send Los Blancos ahead before Yannick Carrasco forced extra time, and there were no further goals to be had before the dreaded penalty shootout.

After seven perfect penalties, Juanfran's effort from 12 yards struck the post, allowing none other than Ronaldo to fire home and steer Real to continental glory.


There was to be no miraculous Champions League final contribution from Bale back in his native Cardiff for the 2017 final against Juventus, but the Millennium Stadium crowd were still treated to a peach of an encounter regardless.

Ronaldo opened the scoring on the night, but Mario Mandzukic levelled with a goal worthy of winning any major honour in the first half before a 30-minute Blancos flurry.

After Casemiro's wonderful effort, Ronaldo notched his second of the game before Marco Asensio got in on the act with seconds remaining, condemning Juventus to another painful defeat at the final hurdle.


Sergio Ramos takes out Mohamed Salah during the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool on May 26, 2018© Reuters

A final that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons by Liverpool fans but for all the right reasons by the Real Madrid faithful, Los Blancos secured their 13th and most recent European crown during an action-packed night in Kyiv.

After Mohamed Salah left the field in tears, Karim Benzema caught Loris Karius unawares to score one of the easiest goals in his career before the phenomenal Bale bicycle kick stunned the 61,000-strong crowd inside the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.

Sadio Mane had levelled for Liverpool before Bale's wonder strike, but the Welshman would nab an equally impressive second for himself from long-range - although Karius will not want to see it again - as Zidane achieved luminary status with a third successive Champions League crown.

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