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Decoding Real Madrid's 15 Champions League title wins

Real Madrid are the most successful club in the history of the UEFA Champions League. So, let's try to decode their 15 Champions League title wins.

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Abishek Goswami
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Real Madrid won their 15th Champions League title | Image: UEFA

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The UEFA Champions League is considered the world's most prestigious club tournament. Top clubs from Europe throw everything at their opposition, pushing until the last blow of the whistle for victory. Spanish giant Real Madrid is the most successful team in the history of the UEFA Champions League. After the win against Dortmund in the 202-24 final of the competition at Wembley, the Los Blancos extended their title tally by 15. In this article, we'll try to decode Real Madrid's 15 Champions League title wins.

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Real Madrid's 15 Champions League title wins 

1. 4-3 win vs Reims, 1955/56 (Paris)

Madrid claimed first crown in the 1955/56 season
Madrid claimed its first crown in the 1955/56 season | Image: UEFA

This 1955/56 final played at the Parc des Princes and it was a thrilling contest. Reims got a fiery start and took a 2-0 lead within the first 10 minutes. But the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano drew one back soon and Hector Rial scored the equalizer after a proper team move. Reims regained the lead through Hidalgo, but the Los Blancos overturned the deficit with goals from Marquitos and Hector Rial, to win the inaugural edition of the European Cup.

2. 2-0 win vs Florentina, 1956/57 (Madrid)

The 1957 European Cup final was held in the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Alfredo di Stefano opened the scoring in the 69th minute by converting a penalty, and one of the greatest Real Madrid legends of all time, Paco Gento, extended the lead and those two goals were enough for the Los Blancos to win their second European Cup title.

3. 3-2 win vs Milan, 1957/58 (Brussels)

Madrid completed the three-peat in the 1957/58 season
Madrid completed the three-peat in the 1957/58 season | Image: X

The Los Merengues completed a three-peat of European trophies by winning the first three editions of the prestigious competition, by defeating Milan in another thrilling contest. The Rossoneri took the lead in the 59th minute with a wonderful goal and looked to get away with the trophy, but the Comeback Kings didn’t let them do it. Alfredo Di Stefano equalized with a brilliant half-volley. Milan reclaimed the lead but Hector Rial’s amazing left-footed volley took the game to extra time. Paco Gento once again scored and this time in the extra time to win the title for his side.

4. 2-0 win vs Reims, 1958/1959 (Stuttgart)

The fourth successive trophy was won in a final against Reims, the same side that played against Madrid in the competition's first edition. This time, Real were comfortable and didn't give their opposition any opportunities. Madrid showed their dominance right from the beginning, as Enrique Mateos scored in the first minute with a beautiful trivela goal from a tight angle. The team missed a penalty later in the first half, but the legend Di Stefano stepped up again and ensured his side's victory.

5. 7-3 win vs Eintracht Frankfurt 1959/60 (Glasgow)

Alfredo Di Stefano and his five European Cup titles with RMA
Alfredo Di Stefano and his five European Cup titles with RMA | Image: Eurosport

Five titles in five consecutive seasons and there is only one word to describe it - Domination. Los Merengues completely outclassed Frankfurt in the final. The German club did open the scoring in the 18th minute, but then Alfredo Di Stefano started his riot. He scored a hat-trick in the final while legendary Ferenc Puskas also contributed with a stunning goal in this demolition. Miguel Munoz was the manager of this team during the five-peat era.

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6. 2-1 win vs Partizan,1965/66 (Brussels)

Real's sixth European Cup winning team
Madrid's sixth European Cup-winning team | Image: RMA

After winning 5 finals in 5 years, the club had to wait sometime for the next one. The club won its sixth European Cup title against Yugoslavia’s Partizan, by 2-1 in 1966. Captain Paco Gento led the team to glory under his leadership. It was another comeback win for Real. Partizan took the lead but late goals from Amaro Amancio and Fernando Serena's screamer from distance, secured the La Sexta.

7. 1-0 win vs Juventus, 1997/98 (Amsterdam)

The Meringues had to wait 32 years to win their seventh title. After 1992 the competition was rebranded and the name changed to Champions League. Los Blancos faced a star-studded Juventus side with players like Zinedine Zidane and Alessandro Del Piero. Madrid won the game through Mijatovic's goal. Real didn't play their best football but a victory is a victory and it was their seventh European title and the first in the Champions League era.

8. 3-0 win vs Valencia, 1999/00 (Paris)

The eighth title was won against domestic rivals Valencia, in a dominant 3-0 win. Fernando Morientes opened the scoring with a header. Steve McManaman then scored an excellent right-footed volley after several attempts throughout the game, and Raul closed the game with an easy finish after rounding the keeper. By then, there was no doubt they were the Kings of Europe.

9. 2-1 win vs Bayer Leverkusen, 2001/02 (Glasgow)

Zinedine Zidane scored a magnificent goal in the 2002 Final against Leverkusen
Zinedine Zidane scored a magnificent goal in the 2002 Final against Leverkusen | Image: UEFA

Madrid solidified their nickname, Kings of Europe by winning yet another title in the 2001/02 season, their ninth in the history of this prestigious competition. It was undoubtedly one of the greatest finals of all time. Skipper Raul Gonzalez scored the opener but Leverkusen soon equalized from a set-piece. Zinedine Zidane scored a majestic left-footed volley to almost secure the victory. But, Leverkusen were giving their everything to take the game further. It took late heroics from Iker Casillas, who was subbed on for an injured Cesar Sanchez to win the La Novena for Real Madrid.

10. 4-1 win vs Atletico de Madrid, 2013/14 (Lisbon)

Sergio Ramos is fifth on the list with 2 goals in the UCL Finals
The Iconic 92:48 header from Sergio Ramos | Image: Getty

The great Carlo Ancelotti was managing Los Blancos then, and this was a thriller until the first ninety minutes of the game. Diego Godin’s first-half goal gave Atletico de Madrid the psychological control. The game was almost over but the Comeback Kings did it once again. Sergio Ramos scored an iconic header in the 92nd-minute 48th second, the famous 92:48. That goal took the game to extra time. Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and Cristiano Ronaldo finished it off in the extra time, to win the long-awaited La Decima.

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11. 1-1 (5-3 on pens) vs Atletico Madrid, 2015/16 (Milan)

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid faced each other once again in the Champions League Final but this time at the iconic San Siro Stadium in Milan. Sergio Ramos’ goal gave an early lead to Real, but Carrasco scored an equalizer. Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty and it took the game to extra time. The game went to penalties and the Kings of Europe were crowned Champions of Europe for the 11th time. Juan Fran missed one for Atletico but all of Real Madrid’s players hit their penalties to win the title.

12. 4-1 win vs Juventus, 2016/17 (Cardiff)

RMA celebrating their 12th UCL title win
RMA celebrating their 12th UCL title win | Image: UEFA

Real Madrid scored four past Juventus, who were the favourites and the strongest defensive team of the season, to win La Duodecima and become the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring before Mario Mandzukic equalized with an incredible goal. But Casemiro’s powerful shot from range was deflected into the net and restored the lead to Real's name. Ronaldo and Marco Asensio scored two more as Real Madrid continued their dominance in Europe.

13. 3-1 win vs Liverpool, 2017/18 (Kyiv)

Madrid's Champions League three-peat
Madrid's Champions League three-peat | Image: UEFA

Real Madrid won the coveted trophy for the third time in three years and four times in five years. Lots of things happened in the game and Liverpool made some mistakes which allowed Real to win the title for the record 13th time. Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius made a huge mistake by gifting the first goal to Benzema and Real. Gareth Bale then scored an overhead goal, which is one of the greatest in the history of Champions League finals. Manager Zinedine Zidane was stunned after seeing that goal and that was sublime. He also scored a knuckleball thunderbolt from range, which was completely missed by Loris Karius. 

14. 1-0 win vs Liverpool, 2021/22 (Paris)

Real once again faced Liverpool in the Finals and won the title once again. Liverpool were the favourites this time but the mentality monsters did it once again and proved to everyone in the world why they are called the Kings of Europe. Vinicius Jr, the potential successor of Cristiano, scored the only goal in the match. Thibaut Courtois dropped his best performance of his career as he made 9 saves. Los Blancos created history once again by winning the title for the record 14th time.

15. 2-0 win vs Dortmund, 2023/24 (Wembley)

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Madrid's 15th Champions League title | Image: UEFA

Carlo Ancelotti's side defeated a determined Borussia Dortmund by 2-0 in the UEFA Champions League 2023-24 final to win their 15th European Cup/Champions League title. The first half of the game was completely dominated by the German side but they could not find the net and every football fan knows what happens when you don't take your chances against Madrid.

In the second half, Madrid started showing their best game and Carvajal found the net with a header to give his side the lead. 9 minutes later, Vinicius Jr. scored after a rare mistake from youngster Matsen and extended his side's lead. Dortmund couldn't make a comeback and Los Merengues were crowned the Champions of Europe yet again.

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