Three peat of the century

It’s been 42 years since Bayern Munich managed three consecutive European Cups.

They were different times, and under another format of the continental showpiece.

Ajax had done done it before and, of course, Real Madrid with their five titles in-a-row.

Now once again Los Blancos are the ones attempting to do it.

They are just three games from a legendary feat; the treble of the century.

Still with the scare against Juventus fresh in their minds, Zidane’s men will soon know their rival in the semi finals draw in Nyon.

It is the penultimate step in their triumphant continental trajectory that started in 2016, when they were champions in Milan against Atletico Madrid.

Since then, the king of Europe has ruled the competition with an authority which already made history last season, as Real became the first team to retain the Champions League in its modern format.

The streak has continued in this edition and Real are joined in the semifinals by Liverpool, Roma and Bayern.

Madrid are experiencing a new golden age in the continental showpiece.

They have won three of the last four Champions Leagues and managed to reach the semifinals for the eighth consecutive year by defeating Juventus.

Since 2011, Los Blancos have always been on the penultimate stage of the competition, meaning that after some dark years, they’ve recovered their greatness in Europe.

Seven titles won in the last century and five already in the current.

In a season marked by inconsistency that cost them LaLiga and the Copa del Rey, the Champions League has again become the lifeline of a team touched by a magic wand.

The European side of Madrid has been the most reliable.

At least it has not failed in any of the decisive nights.

And in the most difficult against Juventus, they still managed to advance; a further demonstration of their power in this tournament.

Unstoppable

On the way to Kiev, Madrid have once again exercised their dominance in the competition.

They were paired in the Round of 16 against a team that threatened the favourites.

The fearsome Paris Saint-Germain featuring the trident of Neymar-Cavani-Mbappe seemed likely to upset Zidane’s men, who at the time of the draw were going through their worst part of the season.

And yet Real won both games.

Then, they faced mighty Juventus in a repeat of the final in Cardiff.

Now, along with Los Blancos and an old rival in Bayern Munich, there are two surprises left the competition: Liverpool and AS Roma.

The English side are led by Jurgen Klopp, a menace for Pep Guardiola and Madrid, who suffered against him in his time at Borussia Dortmund.

Roma, who are full of confidence after their exploits against Barcelona, already faced Madrid on their way to the eleventh crown, in what was Zidane’s debut as coach in the Champions League.

Liverpool, Roma and Bayern are the only ones left to stop the hegemony of Madrid in recent years.

One of them will try to put together two great matches in the semifinals, but should Madrid progress, then the other, in a final in which Madrid have gone 37 years without losing, winning the last six they have played, will go all out to stop the best team in the competition over recent seasons.

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