Real Madrid: Ranking the 10 best individual Champions League performances in the modern era

Real Madrid, Champions League (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Champions League (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Marcelo
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images) /

The largest tifo at the center of the main Santiago Bernabeu stand reads- ” SOMOS LOS REYES DE EUROPA”. Real Madrid are the undisputed Kings of Europe. 13 European cup titles aside, the club’s aura, the Champions League nights at the Bernabeu, and the unfathomable comebacks add to the history of this great institution.

Numerous players with extraordinary skills have worn the hallowed badge of Real Madrid. Every one of them developed a special connection with the Champions League. As a result, we have witnessed exceptional individual performances. Real Madrid’s history is replete with so many special performances that it would be a disservice to rank only 10 of them and leave out the rest. However, here is a humble attempt to rank the top 10 individual performances by Real Madrid in the last few years.

10. Fernando Redondo vs Manchester United (2000)

After this game, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson famously asked- “What does this player have in his boots?” “A magnet?” you may wonder.” Fernando Redondo was one of the best players during the 90s. He reached the zenith of European football during the 1999-2000 season when he was named the European player of the year.

Redondo was one of the chief architects of Real Madrid’s victorious Champions League campaign that year. He reserved his best for the quarter-final clash against Manchester United at the Old Trafford. This was not a mediocre United team that we are accustomed to seeing nowadays. It was the best side in Europe and the defending champions.

Redondo was unplayable in this match. He produced a spectacular play for Real Madrid’s third goal as he dribbled past the united players and backheeled the pass to Raul. The entire world watched in awe as Los Blancos defeated the defending champions League and went on to win the trophy.

9. Marcelo vs Bayern Munich (2017)

Marcelo produced one of the best performances by a full-back in the Champions League in one of the most epic clashes of all time. Eight key passes, nine dribbles, one assist, 105 touches and 81 passes to go with numerous vital defensive interventions. This was Marcelo at his peak.

Real Madrid was facing Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals with the match poised at 3-3 inside a tensed Santiago Bernabeu. As the extra time start both teams had to conjure the energy to get through the game. That is when Marcelo made the difference.

In of the most iconic moments, Marcelo having left the Bayern defense in the doldrums with his individual run found himself open in front of the goal. Instead of taking the shot, he passed the ball to Ronaldo who completed yet another Champions League hattrick that season. The entire stadium along with the players erupted with the famous ‘SIUU’ celebration. That moment and that gesture by Marcelo is still one of the most cherished by Real Madrid fans.