HIS­TORY MAK­ERS

Soccer 360 - - Champs League -

THERE’S MORE NAR­RA­TIVES TO FOL­LOW THAN SIM­PLY WHO DID OR DIDN’T MAKE IT OUT OF THE GROUP STAGE. AS OLI COATES WRITES, HIS­TORY IS WAIT­ING TO BE MADE…

Real Madrid may not be in top form this sea­son, and that’s hardly a sur­prise af­ter los­ing Cris­tiano Ron­aldo in the sum­mer. The Por­tuguese scored 105 goals in

101 Cham­pi­ons League ap­pear­ances for Los Blan­cos, help­ing them to four ti­tles in five years. Last sea­son’s tri­umph com­pleted a hat-trick for the Bern­abeu out­fit, mak­ing them the first team to win the Cham­pi­ons League three times in a row in its cur­rent for­mat.

The last team to win the Euro­pean Cup in its for­mer guise in three suc­ces­sive sea­sons was Bay­ern Munich, who did so be­tween 1974 and 1976 with the likes of Franz Beck­en­bauer and Gerd Muller in the side. Ajax ac­com­plished the feat in the three sea­sons prior to that, in­spired by the le­gendary Jo­han Cruyff. This is the kind of com­pany Real are al­ready keep­ing with their cur­rent run, but they’re also go­ing up against them­selves in their quest to re­write the record books.

Los Blan­cos won the first five it­er­a­tions of the Euro­pean Cup, with Al­fredo Di Ste­fano and Ferenc Puskas among the names to lift the tro­phy be­tween 1956 and 1960. Real Madrid are the only team to have won Europe’s pre­mier club com­pe­ti­tion more than three times in a row. Whether the cur­rent crop of stars — which in­cludes Bal­lon d’Or win­ner Luka Mo­dric — can make it four in a row, re­mains to be seen.

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