Real Madrid are European champions for the 14th time. This Saturday (28), the Spanish team defeated Liverpool (England) by 1-0, at the Stade de France, in Saint-Denis (France), in the decision of the Champions League. The Merengues now have twice as many achievements as Milan (Italy), the second biggest winner of the main club tournament on the planet.
The madridista team has five Brazilian players: winger Marcelo (who stayed on the bench), defender Éder Militão, midfielder Casemiro and forwards Rodrygo (who came on at the end of the second half) and Vinícius Júnior. It was the latter’s title goal, at the beginning of the final stage. Of the quintet, Marcelo and Casemiro reached the fifth Champions League conquest of their career, while the others won the competition for the first time.
The protagonist of the decision in France was Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian goalkeeper made at least five great saves, two in the first half and three in the second, holding off Liverpool’s pressure. The English finished 23 times, against only three of the Spaniards.
The ball started rolling almost 40 minutes late. According to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the start of the match was postponed for “security reasons”, without further details. Outside the stadium, Liverpool fans, without tickets, tried to break into the stadium and caused a ruckus. The explanation was only given with the game in progress, on the screen of the Stade de France.
The show by singer Camila Cabello, also started late, preceded a first stage dominated by Liverpool, which forced Courtois to two great saves in attempts by forwards Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mané (who was still on the crossbar). Just before the break, however, it was the Spaniards who almost took the lead. In a confused move in the area, forward Karin Benzema swung the nets, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
On the way back from the break, there was no “almost”. Despite the English remaining in the attacking field, Real Madrid opened the scoring. At 13 minutes, midfielder Federico Valverde hit a cross and Vinícius Júnior, behind side Trent Alexander-Arnold, appeared on the left and completed for the net. It was the Brazilian’s 22nd goal in 52 matches this season.
The pressure from the English intensified, but there was Courtois in the merengue goal. The Belgian saved the madridistas with three impressive saves. In the main one, in the 36th minute, the goalkeeper saved a cross shot by Salah, almost in the small area, on the right. In a disorderly way, Liverpool insisted on the draw, without success, to the explosion of the Spanish fans in Saint-Denis.