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Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid – Route to the 2024 Champions League final

The pinnacle of the European club season is upon us as Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund face off in the Champions League final.

With reigning holders Manchester City out of the picture, the iconic Wembley Stadium will crown a new champion on June 1, with the kick-off scheduled for 8.00 pm (BST).

Record-time European champions Madrid denied Pep Guardiola’s effort to become the first manager in English football to win back-to-back trebles en route to their 18th appearance in the competition’s decider.

After leaving Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in their wake, Dortmund will be out to thwart Los Blancos’ pursuit of a record-extending 15th Champions League crown.

That task is nothing short of Herculean, given Madrid’s formidable record in the final but the Germans will fancy their chances in their first European showpiece since 2013.

Where to watch the Champions League final on TV?

Fans in the United Kingdom can watch the Champions League final on BT TNT Sports, while CBS and CBS Sports Network have the broadcast rights in the United States.

If you want to watch the game, check out the Champions League broadcast partners on UEFA’s official website or find live Champions League streams here

Borussia Dortmund’s route to the final

After suffering a final-day heartbreak in last season’s Bundesliga finale, the German giants entered this season’s competition bereft of confidence, not even dreaming of going this far. 

Adding to Dortmund’s scepticism, they landed in the so-called ‘group of death’ alongside AC Milan, Newcastle United and PSG. But God works in mysterious ways.

Edin Terzic’s team couldn’t have imagined a poorer start to their Group F campaign, picking up a single point across the opening two matches while failing to get on the scoresheet.

However, an imperious run of three wins in four remaining group stage rounds fired Die Borussen to a top-table finish, three points clear of second-placed PSG.

Dortmund upheld their pre-tie favourite tag against PSV Eindhoven in the last-16, claiming a straightforward 2-0 home victory after a 1-1 first-leg draw in the Netherlands. 

The 1996/97 Champions League winners had no business winning their quarter-final tie.

Fresh off ousting Serie A champions Inter Milan from the competition, Atletico seemed in pole position to curtail Dortmund’s European run, especially after a 2-1 first-leg win in Madrid. 

However, a raucous atmosphere in the second leg at Signal Iduna Park petrified Diego Simeone’s warriors, forming the backdrop for Dortmund’s scintillating 4-2 rout.

As if getting the better of Atletico wasn’t surprising enough, the Germans had to defy public opinion again in the semi-finals and cope with a star-studded PSG squad. 

Dortmund’s often porous backline came up huge, fending Kylian Mbappe and his teammates off in both legs as goals from Niclas Fullkrug and Mats Hummels inspired a pair of 1-0 wins. 

Real Madrid’s route to the final

Last season’s runner-up finish in La Liga meant automatic Champions League qualification for the most successful in European football.

Carlo Ancelotti’s high-flying side lived up to the billing in the group stage, bringing Group C to its knees as Napoli, Braga and Union Berlin couldn’t take a point against them. 

Not only did Los Merengues win all six group fixtures, but they averaged an impressive 2.66 goals per game en route to a 29th consecutive knockout appearance.

Madrid’s springtime European fixtures have prepared them well for this final.

Andriy Lunin soaked up the limelight as the Spaniards’ hero in the round of 16, making countless vital saves as Madrid narrowly squeaked past RB Leipzig 2-1 on aggregate. 

Brahim Diaz’s superb solo goal in a 1-0 first-leg victory at the Red Bull Arena eventually made the difference, but the Ukrainian goalkeeper was instrumental to Los Blancos’ progression.

A heavyweight quarter-final tie against Man City was supposed to be the end of the road for Ancelotti’s team, yet Madrid showed when no one would dare to write them off prematurely.

Following a goal-glutted 3-3 draw in Spain, a 1-1 second-leg stalemate at the Etihad Stadium took the tie to penalties, where the new La Liga champions came off better.

Madrid’s road to Wembley faced another formidable obstacle in the semi-finals as Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern Munich came minutes away from crashing them out.

However, the record-time Champions League winners affirmed their continental credentials with a stunning late comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu.

With only a few minutes left on the clock, Ancelotti’s men were 3-2 down on aggregate, only for Joselu’s quick-fire brace to turn the tie on its head and propel Madrid to another final.


Madrid have not lost a Champions League final since 1981, racking up eight consecutive wins in this fixture afterwards. 

Ancelotti has won Europe’s most prestigious club title four times, more than any other manager, including twice with Los Blancos. 

The list of good omens for the Spaniards goes on, and they are clear-cut favourites to add to their glittering trophy cabinet.

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