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UEFA Champions League final will be a true David vs. Goliath matchup between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid

Published on May, 31 2024

The UEFA Champions League final is finally here! I am Jonathan Johnson ahead of arguably the biggest soccer game there is on the calendar with Real Madrid set to take on plucky underdogs Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday. If that was not enough for you, Emma Hayes also makes her USWNT debut in Colorado with a friendly vs. South Korea kicking off the June camp. 

📺 Footy fix

All times U.S./Eastern

Saturday, June 1
🇪🇺 UCL Final: Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid, 3 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🤝 Friendly: USWNT vs. South Korea WNT, 5 p.m. ➡️ TNT
🇺🇸 MLS: Inter Miami vs. St. Louis City SC, 7:30 p.m. ➡️ MLS Season Pass

Sunday, June 2
🇮🇹 Serie A: Atalanta vs. Fiorentina, 12 p.m. ➡️ Paramount+
🇺🇸 USL: Monterey Bay FC vs. New Mexico United, 7 p.m. ➡️ CBS Sports Golazo Network

⚽ The Forward Line 🏆 Real Madrid eye 15th UCL title in London

 

Real Madrid already boast the all-time best UEFA Champions League tally of 14 titles and have the chance on Saturday to extend that record to 15 against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. Carlo Ancelotti's men are almost exclusive proprietors when it comes to the most coveted silverware in soccer and the Italian tactician himself could win fifth personal UCL title as a head coach and third with Los Blancos after his 2014 and 2022 triumphs. 

 

Up against unexpected finalists BVB, Real are the heavy favorites to succeed and to celebrate another continental crown before the expected announcement of the arrival of French superstar Kylian Mbappe on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain this summer. Jude Bellingham finds himself lining up against his former club and the England international will hope to be the difference in London ahead of UEFA Euro 2024 which could see him starring for the Three Lions as one of the pre-tournament favorites to win that along with Mbappe's France. 

Toni Kroos is preparing for an emotional final game not only with Real but also at club soccer level with his involvement with Germany on home soil this summer set to end in retirement from the game after what has been a glittering career -- regardless of Saturday's outcome. Vini Jr. has also been here before and has already been a game winner in a Champions League final when the Spanish giants edged Liverpool in Paris which was not a classic encounter for Real's record 14th win.

 

  • Cattry: "Real Madrid's latest Champions League triumph was perhaps the most dull of them all, considering they took just three shots and scored off their single attempt at goal. That said, Thibaut Courtois impressed at the Stade de France by making nine saves as Liverpool posted 23 shots, earning Man of the Match honors in the process. It was also a notable night for Vinicius Junior, who scored the game's lone goal and won his first Champions League title in the process."

 

Real's opponents on Saturday are not in London to make up the numbers, though, as Borussia Dortmund have dumped out some big names so far this edition including Mbappe's PSG in the semifinals. Although BVB finished fifth in the Bundesliga compared with Real's latest La Liga triumph, many people do forget that the Germans have already won this competition once in 1997 and have a proud history to honor in the Champions League which Edin Terzic and his players will do their very best to uphold.

 

One of Dortmund's star performers on this incredible run to the final has been goalkeeper Gregor Kobel and the Switzerland international will be aiming to build on his sensational showing against PSG over two legs which somehow produced two clean sheets. The 26-year-old leads all goalkeepers with 42 saves and six clean sheets as well as an impressive 7.09 prevented goals in UCL play -- something which Real's 2022 hero Thibaut Courtois would be proud of.

CBS Sports Golazo Network caught up with Kobel ahead of this weekend's mega clash and was optimistic about BVB's chances of pulling off another upset.

  • Kobel: "It looks like we feel comfortable in that situation [as underdogs] but I think it doesn't really matter for us as a team if we're considered the underdog or not. We built up a lot of confidence throughout this Champions League campaign. We beat a lot of good teams and we showed that we can beat every opponent that is in front of us and with this confidence we approach the game Saturday as well."

Dortmund beating Real here would certainly rank as one of the all-time shock final results but it will require more than just Kobel excelling. Also key has been veteran defender Mats Hummels in some of the best form of his career despite being overlooked for UEFA Euro 2024 by hosts Germany while unconventional attacker Niclas Fullkrug has scored some important goals this campaign including in the first leg against PSG before Hummels finished the job at Parc des Princes and he will need to make a nuisance for Real's Antonio Rudiger who will be an international teammate this summer on home soil along with the retiring Kroos.

 

🔗  Top UCL Stories

💫 Ranking Real's top 10 Galacticos: David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jude Bellingham, Luis Figo and Sergio Ramos all feature.

🤩 UCL superlatives: Jude Bellingham, Kylian Mbappe and Manchester United experience mixed fortunes in the 2023-24 edition.

😱 Ranking the most unlikely UCL winners: Could Chelsea and Liverpool be joined by Dortmund this weekend?

 

🤔 Could USMNT star Gio Reyna get a UCL medal if Dortmund beat Real? Nottingham Forest loanee was with BVB this term.

🫰 Santiago Bernabeu's value to Real: How the Spanish giants extract maximum value from their stadium to remain elite.

🔮 UCL final expert picks: Dortmund vs. Real through the eyes of our experts ahead of Saturday's clash.

 

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Wembley's UCL history: London is not a new destination for the Champions League final ahead of Real vs. Dortmund. 

🎵 Lenny Kravitz: The pregame entertainment ahead of Real vs. Dortmund in the UCL final promises to be top notch.

ℹ️ UCL final essentials: We got you for TV details, etiquette, the referee, prize money, streaming, timings and more.

 
 
  • Morning Footy's preview: Match preview and players to watch in the Champions League final
  • Superstars abound: The legends taking part in the Champions League final
  • BVB's defensive prowess: Dortmund's Mats Hummels on his team's journey to the Champions League final
  • Hey Jude: Jude Bellingham's impact during his first season for Real Madrid
  • Don't forget Sancho: A look at Jadon Sancho's resurgence at Dortmund
  • Super sub?: What role will Brahim Diaz play for Real Madrid?

💰 The Back Line 💵 Best bet

  • UCL final: Dortmund vs. Real, Saturday, 3 p.m.
  • 💰 THE PICK: Bellingham to score, Real to win and both team score in 90 (+500) -- Although Dortmund's defense has been rock solid, Real's attack is impressive and promises to give the Germans a torrid time here. BVB have found ways to score against opponents but have relied on their back line most in order to advance. Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals showed that Dortmund can still catch fire, but Real are on an entirely different level. Jude Bellingham scoring against his former club, Real running out winners but Edin Terzic's side getting a consolation goal against Carlo Ancelotti's men sounds about right.

 

Champions League Real Madrid Must Reads

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