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Ranking Real Madrid’s Champions League titles: From Zinedine Zidane’s volley to Cristiano Ronaldo’s domination

Written by on May 29, 2024

For Real Madrid, trips to the UEFA Champions League final are almost like clockwork — Saturday’s match at Wembley Stadium against Borussia Dortmund will mark their 18th appearance, and the chance to win a record 15th title.

Europe’s most successful side are the heavy favorites in London and will no doubt aim to add to their history of not just winning, but doing so in entertaining fashion. Real Madrid have frequently coupled historic feats with memorable moments, both during their run of five straight European Cup wins in the 1950s and 1960s and during their period of dominance in recent years, having won five Champions Leagues in the last nine years.

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Saturday, June 1 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Wembley Stadium — London, England
  • TV: CBS  | Live stream: Paramount+
  • Odds: Borussia Dortmund +420; Draw +330; Real Madrid -165

Before their latest trip to the final, here’s a ranking of Real Madrid’s 14 Champions League wins.

14. 2022: Liverpool 0, Real Madrid 1

Real Madrid’s latest Champions League triumph was perhaps the most dull of them all, considering they took just three shots and scored off their single attempt at goal. That said, Thibaut Courtois impressed at the Stade de France by making nine saves as Liverpool posted 23 shots, earning Man of the Match honors in the process. It was also a notable night for Vinicius Junior, who scored the game’s lone goal and won his first Champions League title in the process.

13. 1959: Real Madrid 2, Reims 0

In Stuttgart, Real Madrid won their fourth European Cup in a row by setting the tone early thanks to Enrique Mateos’ goal in the first minute. They had their two goal cushion by the 47th minute courtesy of club legend Alfredo Di Stefano, who won the Ballon d’Or for a second time that year.

12. 1966: Real Madrid 2, Partizan 1

Real won their sixth European Cup in 11 years in Brussels in 1966, coming back from behind after Partizan took the lead through Velibor Vasovic’s 55th minute goal. The comeback was quick — Amancio scored in the 70th minute to make things level, and Fernando Serena followed that up with the game-winning goal just six minutes later.

11. 1957: Real Madrid 2, Fiorentina 0

Real Madrid became the first club to win back-to-back European Cups at Santiago Bernabeu, where they beat Fiorentina. Di Stefano opened the scoring with a penalty in the 69th minute while Paco Gento scored the second just six minutes later.

10. 2000: Real Madrid 3, Valencia 0

In the first Champions League final contested between two teams from the same country, Real Madrid took top honors with a dominant showing. Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raul scored at the Stade de France that day, while manager Vincente del Bosque won the Champions League for the first time.

9. 2016: Real Madrid 1, Atletico Madrid 1 (Real Madrid win 5-3 on penalties)

Two years after Real Madrid picked up a lopsided victory against their rivals in the final, the pair met again in Milan for a much more closely contested match. Sergio Ramos‘ 15th-minute goal was canceled out by Yannick Carrasco’s strike 11 minutes from the final whistle, which led to extra time and then a round of penalties. Los Blancos were perfect in the shootout while Juanfran’s miss proved costly for Atleti, making for a dramatic first Champions League win as a manager for Zinedine Zidane, who went on to win three in a row.

8. 2002: Bayer Leverkusen 1, Real Madrid 2

The 2002 final in Glasgow marked another occasion in which the Spanish giants got off to a quick start, this time with Raul’s eighth-minute goal. Lucio leveled the score just six minutes later but Zidane’s iconic 45th minute volley was enough to give Real Madrid the advantage. This was the only Champions League title the Frenchman won as a player, and he did so in style by earning the Man of the Match award.

7. 2017: Juventus 1, Real Madrid 4

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in a match that serves as a textbook definition of Real Madrid’s dominance, winning back-to-back Champions League titles in the process. Casemiro and Marco Asensio padded the scoreline in Cardiff, dashing Juventus’ hopes of winning the Champions League for the first time since 1996.

6. 1958: Real Madrid 3, AC Milan 2

The first time Real Madrid won three titles in a row was 1958 when they mounted a dramatic comeback in Brussels to lift the European Cup. Milan took the lead in the 59th-minute courtesy of Juan Alberto Schiaffino, and then a flurry of goals made things interesting — Di Stefano scored in the 74th, Ernesto Grillo restored Milan’s lead in the 77th, and then Hector Real leveled the scoreline in the 79th. This was the first final to go to extra time, when Gento scored in the 107th minute.

5. 1998: Juventus 0, Real Madrid 1

Predrag Mijatovic’s goal made the difference in Amsterdam when Real Madrid won their first Champions League title since 1966. The occasion also marked the first time Jupp Heynckes won the trophy as a manager before going on to do it again at Bayern Munich in 2013, while Mijatovic’s strike carried plenty of significance — he scored in the 66th minute and previously played for Partizan, the team Real Madrid beat the last time they lifted Europe’s most coveted club prize.

4. 2018: Real Madrid 3, Liverpool 1

Zidane completed his hattrick of Champions League titles as a manager in Kyiv, where Real Madrid were dominant against Liverpool. Karim Benzema opened the scoring on a Loris Karius blunder while Gareth Bale scored a brace, including a bicycle kick, just three years after he played a crucial role in a different Champions League victory.

3. 2015: Real Madrid 4, Atletico Madrid 1

The scoreline tilted heavily in Real Madrid’s favor by the end, but the final in Lisbon was much more dramatic than it seemed. Diego Godin gave Atleti the lead in the 36th minute and they were mere moments away from lifting the trophy when Ramos scored in the third minute of second-half stoppage time. Bale then scored the go-ahead goal in the 110th minute before Marcelo and Ronaldo got on the scoresheet. It was the team’s 10th Champions League title, and their first in 12 years.

2. 1956: Real Madrid 4, Roma 3

The first-ever European Cup final was also one of the tournament’s most entertaining matches as Real Madrid and Roma traded goals back and forth in Paris. Di Stefano was Los Blancos’ first goalscorer that day, helping his side claw back after Roma took a 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes, while Rial scored a brace and Marquitos also got on the scoresheet.

1. 1960: Real Madrid 7, Eintracht Frankfurt 3

The number of trivia questions the 1960 European Cup final in Glasgow inspires nearly rivals the amount of goals scored in the game. Real Madrid won their fifth successive title in the highest-scoring final in the competition’s history to date, which saw Ferenc Puskas score four goals and Di Stefano score three. This match also still holds the attendance record for a Champions League final, as 127,000 filled Hampden Park six decades ago. The historic game almost did not happen, though — teams from West Germany were prohibited from playing against Puskas after he alleged that the national team used drugs when they beat Hungary in the 1954 World Cup final, per ESPN. Puskas had to issue an apology in order for Frankfurt to play the game, but he did not spare them once he got on the pitch.

Champions League final broadcast schedule

All times U.S./Eastern

The post Ranking Real Madrid’s Champions League titles: From Zinedine Zidane’s volley to Cristiano Ronaldo’s domination first appeared on CBS Sports.

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