They couldn’t have left it any later but Real Madrid clinched a historic 10th European Cup after beating city rivals Atletico Madrid in extra-time. It's been a fantastic season for Carlo Ancelotti, winning two out of the major three trophies in his first year in charge, and a strong base has been built for Madrid to push on and dominate, both domestically and in Europe.
Without doubt Real Madrid have always had the potential to rule but lately there has been something holding them back. Whether it be controversy off the pitch, coaching changes, player or fan unrest, matters other than football have often taken precedence at Santiago Bernabeu. That has changed this season.
In came the cool, calm, collected and experienced Italian, Ancelotti, who has put his stamp on the club. This has been the first season in a long while that serious discontent has been avoided. The squad is harmonious, the board have no difficult decisions to make and the fans are ecstatic.
A club not renowned for sticking with their Coach, this is the time to give Ancelotti a long period in charge and chance to preside over the game for years. An expert in Cup competitions, the 54-year-old has had almost instant success wherever he has gone.
The squad has a good balance of youth and experience, a blend the former Chelsea boss has got right more often than not. There will never be a financial need to sell a player at Madrid – money is of no object – and if there is a weakness in the side, the funds are there to strengthen.
It might be greedy but it could be argued Madrid missed the chance to claim an historic treble. With their focus on Cup competitions and the obsession of La Decima, eyes wandered from League action, and silly slips denied Los Blancos the chance of the title as Atletico and Barcelona faltered at the finish.
What Atletico have achieved this season is remarkable and is unlikely to ever be repeated. The quick transformation under Diego Simone has been astonishing and no one expected the success they have had this year. But can they sustain it next season?
Their card has been marked now and success will be expected, a different proposition and a new pressure for the club to handle, as well as the task of holding onto key players.
Barcelona meanwhile have a new Coach and are likely to go through a season of transition, with the continued talk of the end of a cycle and many players rumoured to be heading out. They are unlikely to be at their peak.
Madrid will enjoy this moment and it could be only the beginning of a very successful period. Their domestic rivals could falter next season and this is the chance for this Madrid team to go down as one of the greatest.