Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior celebrates
Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior has scored five goals in this year's competition Image Credit: REUTERS

Borussia Dortmund’s head coach Edin Terzić must find an answer to one of football’s hardest questions on Saturday night.

How do you beat Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final?

It’s a question that hasn’t been correctly answered in over 40 years, with Los Blancos last losing the final of Europe’s grandest competition back in 1981 when Liverpool beat them by a goal to nil in Paris.

Since then, Madrid have competed in eight finals and won all eight. If they were to win under Wembley’s famous arch on Saturday night, the tournament’s most successful team will have a won a record-extending 15 titles.

Five of their 14 titles have come in the last ten years. It’s a barely believable stat that has left many wondering; how on earth do they do it?

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Coaches and players come and go frequently at the Santiago Bernabeu, but one thing has remained in the club’s DNA for an eternity.

The relentless pursuit of trophies, specifically the Champions League.

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Carlo Ancelotti has won the UEFA Champions League four times as a coach Image Credit: AFP

That has and always will be how success is defined in the Spanish capital.

It hurt the Spanish giants when they had to wait over 30 years between their fifth and sixth victories.

But after Jupp Heynckes ended the drought for the Madristas in 1998, they quickly got a taste for success once again, winning three titles in the space of five years.

Twelve years after that ninth victory, Madrid won four of five Champions League trophies available between 2014 and 2018.

Winning is addictive. No team craves sitting atop of Europe’s perch as much as Real Madrid.

Fans and the club’s hierarchy demand success. Many a manager has lost their job at Real Madrid for not instantly adding silverware to their ever-growing trophy cabinet.

Time waits for no man in Madrid.

Every signing who is bestowed the honour of slipping into the club’s iconic white jersey is also aware of this. They are expected to continue the legacy that was built long before their birthdate and will continue well past the end of their time on this earth.

Unwavering self-belief 

Madrid have proved plenty of times over the years that you do not need to be the best team in Europe to taste continental success.

It doesn’t make sense that they’re even in the final on Saturday.

Manchester City, arguably the strongest team in the competition, only managed to score once in the second leg of their quarter final against Madrid despite having 34 attempts at goal. Madrid ended up going through on penalties.

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Jude Bellingham has been a stellar signing for Real Madrid Image Credit: AFP

In the semi-final, Bayern Munich had a one goal aggregate lead over Madrid with just two minutes of the game’s 90 still to play. Joeslu’s dramatic late brace turned things around to leave Bayern astonished.

But Madrid weren’t astonished and neither were neutrals watching the game. It’s what they do and have done for years.

The team has always boasted a band of winners, who go into games expecting to win. That has been instilled from top to bottom at the club. There’s no rooms for losers in the Madrid dressing room.

That level of self-belief and unity has made them an unstoppable force in Europe.

Terzić must mastermind a plan for his Dortmund team to upset the odds, but if Madrid’s history is anything to go by, the final ends with an unprecedented 15th European title for the Reyes de Europa (Kings of Europe).