Real Madrid is going to play their 15th UEFA Champions League final of their history against Liverpool on Saturday, which is the most for any football club. Out of the 14 finals, they’ve played so far, Los Blancos have won 13, which explains why Madridistas believe that “Finals are not played, they are won”.
As we are just a day away from the biggest game of this season, let us take a trip down memory lane by going through each and every Champions League final played by Real Madrid, starting off with the finals played in the European League era.
1. 4-3 win vs Reims, 1955/56 (Paris)
This final played at the Parc des Princes is the perfect example of a thriller. Reims started the game in the top gear and made it 2-0 within 10 minutes. But the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano drew one back soon and Hector Rial scored the equalizer after a well-worked team move. Reims regained the lead through Hidalgo, but the comeback kings overturned the deficit with goals from Marquitos and Hector Rial, to win the first edition of the European Cup.
2. 2-0 win vs Florentina, 1956/57 (Madrid)
The team filled with superstars became better with time, as they won the 1957 European Cup final held in the club’s home ground, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, in style. Around 124,000 fans who attended the game got to see their beloved home team win the game. Alfredo di Stefano opened the scoring in the 69th minute by converting a penalty, and one of the greatest Real Madrid legends of all time, Paco Gento, extended the lead with a typical Paco Gento goal, which saw him outpacing the defenders and chip it over the keeper.
3. 3-2 win vs Milan, 1957/58 (Brussels)
Real Madrid completed a hat-trick of European trophies in the first three editions of the prestigious competition, by defeating Milan in another thrilling contest. The Rossoneri scored first in the 59th minute with a wonderful goal and looked to get away with the trophy, but Real Madrid simply didn’t let them get away with the trophy, as Alfredo Di Stefano equalized soon with a brilliant half volley. Milan reclaimed the lead soon, but Hector Rial’s amazing left-footed volley took the game to extra time, with Paco Gento securing the third successive title with a late winner.
4. 2-0 win vs Reims, 1958/1959 (Stuttgart)
The fourth successive trophy was won in a final against Reims, the team that challenged Real Madrid in the first edition. But this time, Real were able to finish the job with supreme control. They exerted their dominance right from the word go, as Enrique Mateos scored in the first minute with a trivela goal from a tight angle. The team missed a penalty later in the first half, but Don Di Stefano ensured that the European Cup went to Madrid with a goal from range in the second half.
5. 7-3 win vs Eintracht Frankfurt (Glasgow)
There is only one word to describe five European Cups in five years – domination. The same word can be used to describe this final, in which Frankfurt was completely outclassed by Real. The German club did open the scoring in the 18th minute, but what followed next was demolition. Alfredo Di Stefano scored a hat-trick in the final, and legendary Ferenc Puskas scored a poker on the trot, to seal the fifth.
Miguel Munoz, the manager of the team during the five-peat era, deserves a lot of credit for this success.