Real Madrid don’t lose finals – it’s a media trope and recently, a statistic. Most would assume that it becomes irrelevant once a Champions League final kicks off, but apparently it’s a key part of the game. That’s according to a five-time winner of the competition Dani Carvajal.
The right-back is one of three players to have started each of the five Champions League finals won by Los Blancos since 2014 along with Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. That trio also joined Cristiano Ronaldo in having the most Champions League titles to their name with the 1-0 victory over Liverpool in May.
Speaking to Diario AS, Carvajal was asked just how it was that Real Madrid have been able to come out victorious from their last eight European finals.
“I think it’s more what the rival feels than what we feel. We go for it every time. We know that, even if we are very bad and it’s not our day, we will have our chances and that, if we keep handing out hammer blows, we will get our reward.”
In Carvajal’s mind, it was just what happened against Liverpool too.
“It influences the rival more, I have Madrid in front of me, Madrid don’t lose finals, Madrid knows how to compete in finals… In Paris the team scored the goal and that was basically the game.”
“We know what to do in each moment, that they will leave spaces and that is the key: managing the moments in the match correctly in order to win the trophy.”
His statements certainly ring true across this Champions League campaign. Arguably at every stage in the knockout phase, Real Madrid’s opponents could have claimed that based on chances they were unfortunate not to win their matches. Yet somehow Real Madrid managed not to be overcome by the pressure when many other teams would have crumbled, allowing themselves a shot at levelling or winning the game in the late stages.