From the depths of darkness to winning the eleventh European Cup

This is the story of a team who once dominated football like no other team has ever done. It kept on winning titles after titles. For them not winning the European cup in a season was a let down. So accustomed had they become of winning this prestigious trophy that it was almost impossible for others to win it.

To this day Real Madrid are still a force in Europe and one of the best clubs of Europe with a very good team but perhaps

we have just forgotten that we are still pioneers and we’ve barely begun and that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us because our destiny lies above us.”

The Undecima Story

Carlo Ancelloti was replaced by Rafa Benitez after a trophyless season despite winning LaDecima the season before. So for 2015/16 season Rafa Benitez was Real Madrid’s coach and manager. The season began with high hopes of success but soon it was clear that things werent going according to plan and it was evident that players and fans didnt trust the manager. The discontent among the fans and players for Rafa along with poor results which include heavy defeats to Barcelona at home and drawing against some mediocre teams led to the sacking of Rafa Benitez midway through the season.

In the aftermath of  Rafa’s departure Zinidine Zidane an all time great of the game and a symbol for Real Madrid was appointed as Real’s manager and all that was left for him to really fight for was the Champions League. The arrival of Zidane infused a new spirit among the players and fans despite of the fact that Zidane inexperienced but the belief was back it was all because of the charismatic personality of Zizou.

When Zidane got his job Real had already qualified for the knockout stages of UCL. So as it happened Zinidine Zidane’s Madrid first match in UCL was away to Roma. The match was tough but in the second half Ronaldo and Jese scored to give Real Madrid two important away goals to take back to Madrid. In the second leg Real Madrid were lucky because Roma created chances after chances but Real hung and late in the second half scored two goals to seal the win. Ronaldo again making his presence felt along with James the two scorers of the second leg.

Quarter Final

May be  the most tense and entertaining match was the match against Wolfsburg in the Quarter Finals. The first leg away to Wolfsburg  was an absolute disaster. Real lost the match 2-0. Real was shocked the footballing world was shocked but as we all know Real Madrid never gives up and kept on believing that they can still progress in-spite of the fact that it was a daunting task even for a club of their caliber.

The fans were asked to show their support  for the home leg and make their presence felt it was an emotional, tensed and an exciting night. The match began and Real started to dominate  and soon  within 20 mins Real were 2-0 up. As Peter Drury commentated ” Mountain to climb , they’ve hit the peak already”.

To the rescue was Real Madrid’s talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. The first half ended with Real Madrid dominating the match 2-0 but for Real to progress they needed one more goals to progress. The Second half started and Real Madrid kept on pushing for the winner. Once again the scorer was Cristiano Ronaldo, he completed his brilliant hat-trick via free-kick which proved to be the winner. This was one of the greatest come backs in Champions League history and without a doubt one of the best performance from one of the greatest player of all time Cristiano Ronaldo.

Semi Final

Real Madrid  were drawn against Manchester City in the semis. The Semi Finals were tense as they usually are, both the home and away legs were tense and furiously contested. The first match tense  0-0 draw. The second leg was in Bernabeu and having produced one of their finest performance in the quarter final before at home Real were confident to win this one. The only goal of the game came via deflection from Bale’s effort. Real Madrid eventually qualified for the Finals after a somewhat less exciting semi finals.

The quest for Undecima was still on and the Real Madrid faithful now really beleived that Zizou’s team can do something glorious. Reaching the final for the second time in 3 years once again asserted Real Madrid’s dominance in Europe. Under Zidane the belief was back, the team spirit was revived and more importantly he never giving up atitude of Real Madrid was back.

THE FINAL  —- 28th of May 2016

It was the repeat of the final in Lisbon in 2014, yes it was Real Madrid VS Atletico Madrid face to face in the final. Atletico Madrid was phenomenol in the tournament beating Barcelona and Bayern in Quarters and Semis respectively on their road to the final in Milan.

Finally the day arrived and everyone was very excited, I still remember that I spent my whole day thinking about the final and going through pages on social media to get my self game ready the wait was worth it because it was a classic final.

The match started and the first half was dominated by Real Madrid. Real went ahead from Ramos’s effort. The Madridistas around the globe were ecstatic. The royal whites were on their way to win their eleventh European Cup but after half time Atletico started to dominate and the substitute Carrasco scored after  a good cross from Juanfran.

The match was now evenly poised at 1-1. Normal time ended Atletico were looking favorites but Real some how managed to survive the extra time. Both the teams fought well and bravely but none of them was able to find the winner so it went to penalties.

The pressure was huge on Real Madrid because it was their only chance for a trophy in 2015/16 season. On the other hand Atletico Madrid wanted to take revenge of the final in Lisbon where they so nearly won.

Penalties started  and  all the pressure was now on the players. The first four spot kicks from Real Madrid were
converted while Atletico converted 3 spot kicks.  I cant imagine how the players were so cool and composed from both sides but the fourth penalty for Atletico from Juanfran hit the post and all the emphasis was on Cristiano Ronaldo to convert his penalty and win the LaUndecima for the Royal whites.

As Cristiano stepped up to take the penalty he kissed the ball then placed on the spot after that he took a deep breath just to focus himself. He was now ready to take the season defining or maybe career defining spot kick the pressure was immense  but he calmly converted the penalty.

The Real Madrid fans were ecstatic and once again Ronaldo proved himself decisive in clutch situtations.

I cannot describe the emotions  I was going through. I was so happy ecstatic even in tears and I am sure every true Madridista must have gone through a roller-coaster of emotions from the beginning to the very end.

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