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Five key stats ahead of Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid



Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images

Less than six hours remain before Real Madrid step onto the pitch at Wembley Stadium to face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final.

It promises to be an epic clash between the two last-standing teams in Europe’s premier competition this season.

Real Madrid have lost only two games throughout the campaign, both coming against Atletico Madrid in domestic competitions. They have already won the La Liga title and the Spanish Super Cup.

Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, did not have the most memorable campaign domestically, but have been showcasing their resolve and ability in Europe, knocking out teams like Atletico Madrid and PSG on their way to the final.

Real Madrid’s run to the finals has been characterised by their trademark fightback and comeback wins from difficult positions as was seen both against Man City and Bayern Munich.

However, Borussia Dortmund’s defensive solidity, led by goalkeeper Gregor Kobel, will pose a challenge for Carlo Ancelotti & co.

Indeed, Real Madrid have scored nine goals in the last 15 minutes of play in the 2023/24 Champions League, more than any other team. But Borussia Dortmund are one of only three teams not to have conceded such goals (with Benfica and Lazio).

The final frontier. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Real Madrid are the most successful team in the UCL/European Cup and will have experience and history on their side heading into tonight’s match.

After all, Los Blancos have won 14 of the 17 Champions League/European Cup finals that they played in – the most by any team.

Furthermore, Real Madrid also have a solid head-to-head record against Borussia Dortmund, having lost just three of their previous 14 meetings in the Champions League (W6 D5).

Interestingly, this is the fifth UCL final between clubs from Germany and Spain. Each country has two wins apiece – Bayern beating Atletico Madrid in 1974 and Valencia in 2000 while Real Madrid defeated Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960 and Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

Tonight will be the last time that Real Madrid and football legend Toni Kroos plays club football, as he will be retiring this summer.

Interestingly, it will be a full circle moment for the German as he won his first-ever Champions League title with Bayern Munich against Borussia Dortmund in 2013 at Wembley.

Now, he brings down the curtains on his career in the same stage of the same competition against the same opponent at the same venue.

With his final game today, Kroos will be making his 153rd appearance in the Champions League. In the process, he will move to the fifth position on the list of most appearances by a player, going past ex-teammate Karim Benzema.

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Real Madrid News

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success



Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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