Yes, it’s a dynasty. The first back-to-back European champions for 27 years. Three titles in four seasons. It may not feel like one in the way that Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona was or the Ajax sides of the early 1970s were, because there isn’t a domineering tactical style or a box office figure at the helm or even a blueprint to follow.
But that’s what it is.
Nine of the 14 Real Madrid players who dropped Juventus 4-1 to win the club’s 12th European Cup were there in 2013-14. So, too, was Zinedine Zidane, albeit he as an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti then. If there is a theme to this, it’s one of quality and simplicity, of great footballers working for and with each other, of egos being stowed for a common goal.
Juventus, meanwhile, limp away heartbroken for the seventh time in nine European Cup finals. But maybe this one hurts less. They conceded more goals in 90 minutes against Madrid than in 1080 preceding minutes of Champions’ League action. They were outclassed by an opponent with another level and, perhaps even one after that. Game planning, hard work and scheme will get you only so far.
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