PARIS — Lucas Vazquez would not communicate a lot French in any respect. However the Actual Madrid utility participant had no drawback understanding one phrase, and repeating it after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Liverpool within the Champions League ultimate: “Cinq.”
Karim Benzema had his proper hand open, taking a look at his relations within the stands — a lot of whom made the three-hour prepare journey from his hometown of Lyon to the French capital — and shouting: “Cinq, cinq!” Vazquez then began shouting it, too, with an enormous smile on his face.
5 is the variety of Champions League trophies Benzema has received. 5 up to now eight years. This one, in France, on residence soil, has a specific flavour. Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Dani Carvajal are additionally a part of this extremely unique club. Carlo Ancelotti has six (two as a participant, and now a report 4 as a manager) however the Italian coach could not present six together with his fingers as a result of he was too busy hugging all of his gamers. One after one other, they got here to him for a kiss, an embrace, a pleasant phrase, as if he have been their father.
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On Friday night, earlier than the final coaching session, Ancelotti gathered all of his gamers and workers in the course of the pitch. Carrying his cap and his tracksuit, he spoke for 5 minutes, and everybody was targeted on his phrases. He reminded them that Actual Madrid do not play finals, they win them. He reminded them that Actual Madrid had received a Champions League ultimate on the Stade de France earlier than, and that they’ve crushed Liverpool in a Champions League ultimate earlier than. It was all concerning the mindset, the behavior of profitable, not concerning the prematch sport plan. Ancelotti wished a relaxed squad.
“He transmitted a lot confidence, calmness and constructive vitality” a supply informed ESPN. That is what Ancelotti does. However this time much more than ever.
That coaching session, by the way in which, felt like one which occurs throughout a preseason tour. Gamers introduced their kids on to the pitch to kick a ball, they took images with former Madrid captain Iker Casillas, they performed little video games with the ball. It did not really feel like an enormous match was developing the subsequent day.
A Champions League ultimate? Kroos, Modric and Casemiro — the Madrid midfield trio that has been collectively since 2014 — have been extra focused on their card sport only a couple of hours earlier than the match than the rest. It’s a pressure of behavior, they’d let you know.
Within the locker room earlier than kick-off, Ancelotti knew Actual Madrid have been going to win. He informed his gamers that they simply needed to exit and make it occur. So that they did.
As soon as departing club captain Marcelo lifted the trophy, then Benzema, then the remainder of the squad, it was time to get together and have a good time. All of the households got here down on to the pitch. Former gamers Kaka, Raul, Clarence Seedorf and Roberto Carlos have been a part of it, too. All of the Actual Madrid household was there. Former coach Zinedine Zidane, together with his spouse and two of their sons, have been additionally in attendance, however they stayed extra discreet after full-time — Zidane had already loved such a celebration thrice over the previous few years, in spite of everything.
Again within the dressing room, David Alaba, who claimed a LaLiga-Champions League double in his first season on the club, began spraying champagne over everybody whereas leaping from one therapeutic massage desk to the opposite. The music was loud, everybody was dancing. Membership president Florentino Perez congratulated all his gamers for an unimaginable marketing campaign. Actual Madrid have additional cemented their standing as kings of Europe: They’ve received this competitors 14 occasions over 67 seasons, making them champions for 21% of its historical past.
In 2014, on the aircraft again from Lisbon after beating Atletico Madrid to win La Decima (their long-coveted tenth European crown), they celebrated like mad. They celebrated a lot that the pilot needed to ask them to cease leaping round or there can be a danger that the aircraft would crash.
In 2018, after their thirteenth Champions League and the third in a row beneath Zidane, the flight again from Kyiv was way more peaceable. Not that they weren’t pleased or that they have been complacent — it was only a feeling of a job nicely executed. They’re serial winners. It’s of their DNA.
This time, on the flight again from Paris, it was a mixture of the 2. As soon as Eder Militao introduced the trophy on to the aircraft, it was welcomed with a loud cheer. Fittingly, one of many songs performed on the flight was “DNA.” by Kendrick Lamar.
That is what Actual Madrid are. They’ve royal blood. They usually celebrated like kings.