Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid are just 90 minutes from reaching what no other club has done, and are due all the credit they deserve.
If Real can win the Champions League final in Cardiff on June 3, the team will go down as one of greatest of all time, and it will be the first time any club has won two consecutive titles of this European league.
Real on Wednesday lost to Atletico Madrid 2-1 but moved through to the Champions League final on aggregate 4-2 after winning the first leg of the tie at home 3-0.
The team is loaded with talent but three players stand out amongst the rest. Marcelo, the left side defender from Brazil is considered the world’s best at his position,
Captain Sergio Ramos has become one of the top central defenders in the game and a threat to score with a header on every corner or free kick.
The third and likely the biggest name in soccer today Cristian Ronaldo continues to set scoring records in Champions League play as he sits at No. 1 in career goals in that league.
Those three players are the club’s backbone that won Champions League finals in both Lisbon and Milan and now will attempt to defeat Juventus in the final at Cardiff.
Real had been adding young talent in hopes of stopping bitter rival Barcelona from signing them and partially for a transfer ban that they knew was imminent and in force for the past year and due to expire this summer.
Real was able to sign Marco Asensio before Barcelona did. Most believe he is the next great player for Spain.
The signings three seasons ago of both German Toni Kroos and Spaniard Isco have helped Real as the two midfielders have played steady throughout the season.
All of this success of late cannot be accomplished with talent alone and that is where current manager Zinedine Zidane comes into play.
He has kept star players happy even though there are 22 who are all worthy of being starters, while former managers Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho were unsuccessful.
A coaching genius might not be needed to coach such talent, but one needs to know the art of managing a group of talent and egos and Zidane has been brilliant at doing so.
The path to the final has been difficult, as they have played Dortmund, Napoli, Bayern and Atletico during the knockout stages.
The final will not be easy as Italian giants Juventus are playing very well and can score at any time thanks to Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain.