Real Madrid have invariably delivered drama with happy endings in the home knockout stages of this Champions League season. The high point of the three-act act was on Wednesday when Spain’s record champions in the second leg of the semifinals against Manchester City seemed hopelessly behind with a total score of 3:5 up to the 90th minute and still managed to get promoted. Real had made similar comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea before.
In the duel with Man City, “Joker” Rodrygo struck twice at the end of regular time and brought the Madrilenians into extra time, where Karim Benzema, who had been outstanding in recent months, was the preserve of his team to make it 3-1 and thus into the final on 28 May. May shoot against Liverpool in Saint-Denis/Paris. After the final whistle, all dams broke at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, players and coaching staff hugged each other and let the frenetic crowd celebrate. In the middle was David Alaba, who had been on the bench because of muscle problems.
Due to his injury, the Viennese slowed down a bit during the cheering sprints in the fan curves, but in the midst of the happy dances the ÖFB star also found time to console the city professionals. There was also a heartfelt hug with Pep Guardiola, his former coach at Bayern Munich.
“You can’t believe it, but you can’t be surprised either. I kept emphasizing what we’re capable of, we showed that this season, we never let ourselves be discouraged. What the team did, how they came back, that’s mentally ill,” Alaba said, full of emotion.