By Matt Lisoski
Real Madrid has won the Champions League for the third year in a row, which solidifies Zidane as the only coach ever to win three straight Champions League Finals. I took a few days to kind of see what everyone has said about the game and took time to figure out what I believe happened in it. First, you have to feel for Karius. The Liverpool goalkeeper has had a fantastic season in which him and his defense conceded the least amount of goals in the Champions League. However, in the biggest moment in his career he had two massive blunders. Although he may not be forgiven yet by Liverpool fans, it is like their saying, “You Never Walk Alone” when you are a Liverpool player.
Now that we are passed the heartbreak of this game let’s get to the controversy. The main story line of this game was if Mo Salah was going to be the one to dethrone the team that has been on top of this league three out of the past four years. We all wanted to see just a little bit more magic from this Egyptian God, however Sergio Ramos had other ideas. Before I go on to berate Ramos for what he did, he really did play fantastic in this game and of course has been the second biggest part of Real behind Ronaldo. With that being said, what he did to Mo Salah was uncalled for. However, it is a play I know Sergio Ramos would make a again if he had the chance. Ramos continued to hold Salah’s arm all the way to the ground, which ended in Mo dislocating his shoulder and leaving the majority of the game to his teammates. Now, do I think he meant to injure Salah, probably not. What I do think is Ramos is a smart player and knew that if Salah stayed up and continued going with the ball it could have been a real scoring chance for Liverpool. So, Ramos dragged him to the ground. I truly do not think he wanted to hurt him, however that is a dangerous play to make and I think he deserves whatever backlash he gets because of the incident. The play once again proved that Sergio Ramos will do anything to win games and in a way I respect it.
My overall thoughts on Real Madrid winning the Champions League is relatively simple. They were not the best team; however, they did what they needed to do to win. Real took their chances when they were given to them and the other teams did not do their job. Juventus had a chance, but gave Ronaldo a penalty in stoppage time to secure the tie for Real. Like I talked about in my previous blog, Bayern was no questions asked the better team in that tie, but Real took their chances and Bayern did not. Plus, they cannot choose the teams that they play. Manchester City and Barcelona did not do their jobs and got knocked out before they even had the chance to take on the holders of the trophy; Real Madrid can only play the opponents that are put in front of them and that is exactly what they did.
To conclude this glorious season of the Champions League, let me leave you with this prediction: Real will not get so lucky next year and will not win for a 4th time in a row.
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