Over 180 minutes, fans of both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich including neutrals were hanging on – not knowing how the drama would end.
Real Madrid then got over the line. It was 4-3 in the end but it could have been 8-7, 10-9 if you were the optimistic one. This is the reason the UEFA Champions League [UCL] is the peak of football display, where football truly delivers for its global audience.
All the drama elements were in place: the plot was intriguing and kept everyone guessing, the characters were there aplenty – from Sven Ulreich, the Bavarian whose howler will never be forgotten to the vilified Los Blancos, Karim Benzema, who came good; and the spectacle was spell-binding – football for the stars. There is no just way to describe this semifinal between Real and Bayern but to exclaim – ‘go watch it yourself’.
After a qualification that confirmed the fact that Zinedine Zidane has never been knocked out of the UCL as Real Madrid coach, he said, “I’m feeling great, securing a final spot after such a great performance is great.
“This is why we like football. Through football, we get to experience such beautiful emotions.” And truly, it was an emotional roller coaster till the very end of the added five minutes.
Zidane also added: “In football, you have to suffer and especially in the UCL. We know you can’t get to the final of it without suffering, and it’s nicer this way. It’s not great for your heart, though!”
In the end, it was world-class entertainment, as agreed by Bayern manager, Jupp Heynckes, one that kept almost 500 million people glued to various screens across the world. “If we look at the game today, both sides played well, it was a beautiful, world-class game of football. We dominated, I believe, and they should thank [Keylor] Navas for his spectacular performance, especially towards the end.”
Real Madrid thus achieved the status of the only team to have reached three successive finals twice. For Sergio Ramos, it is time for Real Madrid players to win a third successive title and become legends.
Writing on Twitter, he said, “We wrote history again. Now we want to become legends.”
The drama continues on Wednesday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as AS Roma chase history of being the only team in Champions League history to overturn three-goal deficits in two successive matches. They host Mohamed Salah and his free-scoring Liverpool team and like they say, you just have to share this drama.