Real Madrid look to extend their European dominance

Real Madrid are undoubtedly the most successful club in world football. It is the dream of any budding footballer to don the famous whites of the club, but only some have managed to do so successfully. “Los Blancos” have an unthinkable 14 Champions League titles, which is twice as many as AC Milan (who come second in the pecking order) have.

The glamour club of Spain are only two steps from winning their sixth Champions League title in 10 years. Should they be able to achieve that, it will rival their fantastic run in the 1950s, when they won five consecutive European Cups.

Two great eras of dominance in the past

Real Madrid have had a couple of distinct eras of utter dominance in Europe. One of them has been mentioned previously. The second came in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when they won three Champions League titles in the span of five years.

The first era involved legends such as Alfredo di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Claudio Gento and Jose Santamaria, and the second era had “Galacticos” like Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Raul Gonzalez, Roberto Carlos and Iker Casillas. The debate can go on till eternity as to which of those teams were better, but it can be concluded that both have contributed significantly towards forming the unparalleled legacy of the club.

The past decade has been glorious for Real Madrid

After almost a decade of relative obscurity starting from the mid-2000s to the early 2010s, Real won their 10th Champions League title in 2014. They have not looked back since then with players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Iker Casillas forming the core of their all-conquering team. Their current manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was at the helm during the 2013-14 campaign. Ancelotti might not be in the dugout next season for Real and will aim to finish on a high.

Modric, Kroos and Benzema are still an integral part of the team and will like to add as many big titles to their enviable collection as possible as they do not have too many years left at the top. However, they will once again have to overcome the sizable obstacle named Manchester City, who have shown no respite to their opponents in the past.

Manchester City should prove to be a difficult obstacle

Real overcame Manchester City through a couple of late goals in a thrilling second leg in the semifinal of the Champions League last year. They face the same opposition over the course of next two weeks in the semifinal once again.

Pep Guardiola’s star studded squad, who have made a mockery of their opponents in the Premier League in the recent weeks, will now be hungry for success in Europe. They have come tantalizingly close to glory in the Champions League in the last few years but ultimate success has eluded them. It is going to be extremely difficult for Real to overcome City this time around, but it is definitely not beyond their abilities.

Should Real be able to strike gold in Europe once again, they will not only reaffirm their status as the greatest club in world football but they will also take themselves further out of the reach of the second greatest one – whichever club that may be.

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