Real Madrid, the milestone of a generation with 25 titles

With the whistle that closed the final of the UEFA Champions League 2021-22the real Madrid he consecrated five European titles in less than 10 years. The meringues defeated Liverpool by a tight 1-0 scoreline thanks to a goal in the second half from their young promise, Vinícius Júnior, but with the support of a generation that has regained the prestige of the franchise since 2007 with a total of 25 championships.

The benchmark who raised the cup during the Champions League final festivities was Marcelo Vieira, the Brazilian left-back who has been in the real Madrid since 2007 and who is the longest on that list of winners of 25 titles, which also includes characters such as Karim Benzema, Luka Modric or Casemiro.

“I don’t feel like a legend, I’m a person who enjoys every moment, today I was lucky enough to be the captain of Real Madrid and lift the Cup, I’ve been lucky enough to spend so many years at Real Madrid”, said Marcelo, who ratified his withdrawal from real Madrid At 33 years old, although he leaves as the biggest winner with those 25 titles.

From 2007 to 2022 the merengue team has won six titles of The league, five Champions Leagues, five Spanish Super Cups, four Club World Cups, three European Super Cups and two Copas del Rey. Both in their record in LaLiga and in the Champions League and the Club World Cup they hold the record as the most winning team.

Despite his success in the Champions League in the 21st century, winning the 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022 editions, they would still have to win one more to match their own record between the 50s and 60s, when they were six-time winners of the then-called Copa Union between 1956 and 1966 (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1966).

However, history is repeating itself with some differences: the Madrid that won those six European leagues between the 50s and 60s did so with three different coaches, José Villalonga, Luis Carniglia and Miguel Muñoz, while the five stars of 2014 in ahead they were achieved by Zinedine Zidane (three times) and Carlo Ancelotti (two).

In the history of these five European stars of the 21st century, the names of Casemiro (Brazil), Nacho (Spain), Dani Carvajal (Spain), Isco (Spain), Toni Kroos (Germany), Gareth Bale (Wales), Karim Benzema (France), Marcelo (Brazil) and Luka Modric (Croatia), as they have been part of the Real Madrid project since 2014 or even before, like Marcelo, who joined in 2007, and Benzema, in 2009.

In the all-time list, there are a total of 18 footballers who have won the Champions League or European Cup five times, of which 16 were part of the real Madridincluding figures such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stéfano and José María Zárraga, in addition to the aforementioned nine, who joined thanks to the title won by Liverpool in 2022 (the other two are Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini, who won five with the Milan).

The one who remains on the historical list as the top winner is the also Spanish Paco Gento, who took Madrid’s six cups in Europe between 1956 and 1966, but now, with one more title from the heroic merengue generation led by Benzema and Modric , could be tied for that ranking in the coming years.

The 2021-22 season defined the course of the real Madrid as the largest in Spain and Europe, as it was only the second time in the era Champions League that the team was consecrated in the same year both nationally and continentally (the other occasion was in the 2016-17 season).

In addition to Marcelo, other names that stood out as national and continental champions were French striker Karim Benzema and Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Benzema (34 years old) won his first Pichichi award as top scorer in LaLiga by scoring 27 goals, that is, exactly one third (33%) of the total goals scored by the real Madrid throughout the season (80). In addition, his outstanding performances and scoring earned him comebacks and Champions League victories against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City en route to the final.

For his part, Ancelotti (62 years old) became the winningest coach in the history of the Champions or European Cups with four titles: two obtained with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, as well as the two of the real Madrid in 2014 and 2022. In this way he left behind Bob Paisley, who won three with Liverpool between 1977 and 1981, as well as Zinedine Zidane, who also won a third but with the real Madrid between 2016 and 2018.

“I don’t think I have four Champions Leagues, I’m the lord of the records”, declared Ancelotti after the close victory against Liverpool, while the president of the real Madrid, Florentino Pérez, also praised his qualities for managing the group throughout the season: “The players are delighted, the atmosphere is very important in everything in life and this year there has been an atmosphere in which I give a lot of credit to Carlo Ancelotti. This is the result of having done things well.”

Between 2007 and 2022 real Madrid has had in its ranks players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, Iker Casillas, Keylor Navas, Kaká, Mesut Ozil, Ángel Di María and Eden Hazard, but those who are changing the course of history are the permanent ones like Luka Modric, Karim Benzema , Toni Kroos or Casemiro.

“We are still thinking about what has happened, what have we done and the truth is that there are no words. This team, this club is, without a doubt, the best in the history of football. There is nothing greater than real Madrid”, Modric pointed out when winning his fifth Champions together with that golden generation that is returning Madrid to the continental ecstasy that it had already experienced more than 50 years ago.


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