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UEFA Champions League Final 2024: Preview & Predictions for Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

UEFA Champions League Final 2024: Preview & Predictions for Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund

May 16, 2024

Will it be a record 15th Champions League title for the Kings of Europe or will Dortmund avenge their heartache from the 2013 Wembley final? 

Real Madrid advanced to the 2023/24 Champions League final with a remarkable late comeback win against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernebéu to deny an all-German showdown.

While Borussia Dortmund, more or less underdogs to even make it through the initial group stages, continue to defy odds and now find themselves in a UCL final for the third time in the club’s history, their first since the 2013 Wembley final. 

This year’s final will be the first time Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund meet each other in the Champions League final. Meanwhile, it will only be the third time a Spanish and a German side play each other in the competition’s final.

UEFA Champions League Final Info

Date: Sunday, June 2
Start Time: 12:30 a.m. IST
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London
*For European readers
Date: Saturday, June 1
Start Time: 9 p.m. CET 
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London

Preview

There’s a reason why Real Madrid are called the Kings of Europe. Los Blancos have won the competition a record 14 times and are the only club to win multiple Champions League titles since 2015. In the last 10 years, Real Madrid have won five Champions League titles, winning this season’s final will make it six in ten.

After topping their group, which notably had Italian giants Napoli, they defeated RB Leipzig, Manchester City and Bayern Munich across next three rounds to book their place in Wembley.

Moreover, it was the manner in which they overcame Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich in the second leg of their semi-final tie that’ll give them a lot of belief going into the match at Wembley. With the tie slowly slipping away from their grasp, Real Madrid had to thank substitute Joselu for a late four-minute double salvo to beat Bayern 4-3 on aggregate.

Besides, a lot of eyes will be on Real Madrid who’s playing XI has some of the biggest names in European football, led by Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior, who scored the match-winning goal against Liverpool two years ago to win Real Madrid’s 14th UCL crown.

Another player who would certainly garner a lot of attention is Jude Bellingham. The English star will play the final on his home soil against the club that sold him to Real Madrid last summer.

Borussia Dortmund, who’ve largely played second fiddle to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga for more than a decade, carved out their own successful route to a European final this season.

After topping what was considered the “Group of Death” with Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, and Newcastle United as the other three teams. They made light work of PSV Eindhoven in the Round of 16 before setting up a quarter-final clash against Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid, which they won 5-4 on aggregate. 

Dortmund survived their semifinal bout against Kylian Mbappé’s Paris Saint-Germain with some stout defending and some help from the post. PSG hit the post on a handful of occasions over 180 minutes in the semifinal. But the German club thanks to goals from Niclas Füllkrug and Mats Hummels in each leg won the tie 2-0 on aggregate. 

Center-back Mats Hummels, who played in Dortmund’s last UCL final at Wembley in 2013 will be vital to slowing down Vinicius, Rodrygo, Bellingham and the Real Madrid attack.

Given the gulf in quality when you look at both sets of players, it’s a mismatch, however, Dortmund have proven time and again that they are not the one’s to be taken lightly. 

On paper, Real Madrid should win the match with their overwhelming attacking talent. Dortmund’s only path to victory is through a low-block, disruptive and transition-based game in which they get one or two moments to make a difference, like it did in the second-leg win against PSG. 

Prediction: Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 0

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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