Now, in Paris – after moving the final from St Petersburg after the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the Reds and Los Blancos will meet again.
Real Madrid, having failed with a single shot on target throughout the evening, were 5-3 behind on aggregate as time approached 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Subsequently, two goals – one with a 90-minute strike and one in overtime – from substitute Rodrygo left the scoreline on aggregate and dragged the match into overtime.
Because of the tumultuous atmosphere that erupted around the Bernabéu, Real Madrid’s attack continued, resulting in a penalty kick in the 95th minute. Karim Benzema stepped up, transformed and propelled his team to the Champions League final.
Mundo Deportivo, the Barcelona-based newspaper that is more traditionally associated with Real Madrid’s great rival Barcelona, has given the headline “Groundhog Day”, referring to Los Meringues’ impressive streak of return from the Bernabeu in the Champions League knockout stages.
In the quarter-finals, Benzema’s second-half hat-trick defeated PSG in the second leg and overturned a 2-0 deficit on aggregate. In the semi-final against Chelsea, a late goal from Rodrygo pushed the equalizer into extra time before Benzema scored the decisive goal in the 96th minute.
“I cannot say that we are used to living this kind of life, but what happened tonight happened against Chelsea as well as against Paris,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said, according to the BBC.
“If you have to say why, it’s the history of this club that helps us carry on when it looks like we’re gone.
“The match was almost over and we were able to find the last energy we had. We played a good match against a strong opponent. When we managed to equalize, we had a psychological advantage in overtime.”
Real midfielder Federico Valverde said, according to the BBC, it was “another crazy night”.
“When City scored, I felt like everything was falling apart – all that effort and fighting every round, I felt lost.
“But the fans gave us a lot of help to keep fighting until the end. When you score goals, you think we will win today,” he said.
Faithful to the chants chanted by Real fans around the Bernabeu – “hasta el final, vamos Real” (“until the end, let’s go to Real Madrid”) and “sí, se puede” (“yes, we can”) – the Madrid team achieved another superb result on Ages passed.