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Why Real Madrid are the favourites to lift their 15th Champions League title

Real Madrid are one step away from reaching their second Champions League final in three years, with many European sports blogs backing them for success. 

For any club in Europe, lifting the Champions League trophy is a crown achievement – a testament to their continental status, which makes them stand out among their peers. 

But for Madrid, it’s part of a tradition, almost as if it’s another day in the office, an everyday task completed nearly effortlessly season after season. 

Since Carlo Ancelotti first landed on Los Blancos’ bench in 2013, they have featured in five Champions League finals and perhaps unsurprisingly came out on top of each. 

Two matches potentially separate the most successful club in Europe from a record-extending 18th appearance in the title-deciding event as Bayern Munich bid to stop the Spaniards in their tracks.

Having lost their 11-year stranglehold on the Bundesliga to Xavi Alonso’s invincible Bayer Leverkusen side, the Bavarians look at the Champions League as their last chance to avoid a trophyless season.

Elsewhere, this year’s leading goalscorer, Kylian Mbappe, will lead Paris Saint-Germain’s charge for only their second-ever foray into the final against Bayern’s fierce domestic rivals, Borussia Dortmund,

If the World Cup winner inspires a more heavily fancied PSG to victory, he could potentially go up against his soon-to-be teammates in a battle for continental supremacy at Wembley Stadium.

According to FootballToday’s prediction, the Madridistas are almost destined to meet their long-term target in the most heavily anticipated fixture in the European football calendar this June.

Winning Mentality

As aforementioned, Los Merengues have played in 17 Champions League finals, at least six more than any other side in the competition’s illustrious history. 

What strikes fear into their enemies’ hearts is the intimidating fact that they only lost three title deciders, most recently in 1981.

Since Alan Kennedy took Liverpool to glory in the Parc des Princes showpiece four decades ago, Madrid have emerged victorious from all eight Champions League finals they contested.

Based on their storied history, if they advance into the final, they’ll almost certainly take the trophy home. 

Winning is part of the club’s DNA, deeply embedded into their code, and it’s almost impossible to rule them out of contention for any piece of silverware, regardless of who stands in their way.

Defending champions Manchester City had to learn that the hard way in the quarter-finals as Ancelotti’s side stunned Pep Guardiola’s treble hopefuls at long odds.

Too Hot to Handle for German Clubs

The upcoming semi-final tie against Bayern will be Madrid’s 16th appearance in the Champions League last four since the start of the new millennium.

But while their record in the grand finals is superb, this stage has often proved detrimental to their continental aspirations, with Los Merengues bowing out eight times in 15 last-four ties in the 21st century (W7).

With that in mind, the runaway La Liga leaders will relish having German opposition on the opposite side, knowing they’ve been ruthless in their recent knockout ties against Bundesliga clubs. 

A 2-1 aggregate win against RB Leipzig in this season’s round of 16 marked Madrid’s eighth consecutive victory against the Germans in two-legged ties in UEFA competition.

You’d need to go back to 2012/13 for the last time they failed to overcome a Bundesliga side in the Champions League knockout phase, with Borussia Dortmund crashing them out of the semi-finals.

Since then, it’s been all Madrid, and the Bavarian heavyweights know that well, having lost all three knockout ties against Los Blancos since 2014.

Don Carlo 

Aptly named ‘Don Carlo’ in Spain, Ancelotti is the most decorated manager in Champions League history, having won four titles, including two with Madrid. 

If anyone knows in-depth about securing continental dominance, it’s the 64-year-old Italian – the only manager to have coached teams in five Champions League finals. 

And the fact he only lost one, when Liverpool hauled back a 3-0 half-time deficit to beat AC Milan on penalties in the iconic ‘Istanbul night,’ speaks volumes. 

With the 2022 Champions League hero Vinicius Junior and leading Ballon d’Or contender Jude Bellingham spearheading Ancelotti’s quest for glory, another successful European story looks almost inevitable. 

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