Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Who will lift the Champions League trophy in 2024?

Real Madrid face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final this weekend, as club football’s biggest game returns to Wembley.

The world will stop to watch as the two teams battle it out to be crowned European champions under the famous arch, with supporters and neutrals set to tune in.

Ahead of the game, we’ve looked at the finalists.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid will start as favourites in the clash as the Spanish superpower looks to win a record-extending 15th European title.

Carlo Ancelotti became the first coach to win four Champions Leagues in 2021-22 and is aiming for a fifth title, having won two with AC Milan (2003 and 2007) and two with Real Madrid (2014 and 2022) to date.

After two regimes of Galactico signings under President Florentino Perez, Real Madrid have built a formidable side with a new focus on emerging talent. Federico Valverde, Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior have evolved into key figures since arriving from South America as youngsters, while Jude Bellingham has hit the ground running in his debut campaign at the Bernabeu.

The England international will face his former club in this weekend’s final after moving to the Spanish capital from Borussia Dortmund last summer. He has scored 23 goals in all competitions and was last week named La Liga’s Player of the Season for 2023-24.

After a flawless group stage campaign, Real Madrid have impressed during a tough run to the final that included a quarter-final win, via penalties, over holders Manchester City.

Los Blancos will be aiming to eliminate a third German club from this season’s competition, after beating RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich in the knockout rounds.

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund have exceeded all expectations to reach the Champions League final, with their European performances coming alongside the backdrop of a disappointing domestic campaign in the Bundesliga.

After narrowly (and agonisingly) missing out on the title in 2022-23, Dortmund slumped to a fifth-placed finish this time around and finished a huge 27 points adrift of champions Bayer Leverkusen.

In Europe, however, Dortmund have been excellent. The Germans progressed through the tournament’s Group of Death in top spot, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle, before eliminating Spanish opposition in Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid over two legs in the knockout rounds.

Dortmund faced a rematch with PSG in the semi-finals and shut out Kylian Mbappe and company over two legs, recording a 2-0 aggregate success to progress to the final, with centre-backs Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck outstanding.

The final will be Dortmund’s third in this competition, after beating Juventus in the 1997 decider and losing to Bayern Munich in 2013. The latter of those games was also held at Wembley.

This weekend’s game will also be the final of Marco Reus’ decorated career with the club. The Dortmund captain will leave the Westfalenstadion after 12 years this summer.

When is the Champions League final?

Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund meet at Wembley on Saturday, June 1st, with kick-off scheduled for 20:00 BST.

Fans across the world can watch UCL matches live though the respective rights holders, as the curtain comes down on an unforgettable 2023-24 season.

Read – Iconic Performances: Lewandowski’s four-goal destruction of Real Madrid

See more – Paul Lambert: Exclusive interview with the Celtic and Dortmund icon

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