This will be the end of an era for Champions League football as we say goodbye to the existing format of the tournament. And what better way to see it out but to be the team that wins the coveted trophy in its final existence, on the hallowed turf at the home of football, Wembley.

The German outfit is chasing their first piece of silverware since 2021, while Los Blancos are hunting for their third trophy this season, with the Supercopa de Espana and La Liga in the bag. Dortmund have already secured their spot in the new expanded format of the Champions League next season, but it will be an amazing achievement if the men in yellow can overcome the Madrid and clinch the trophy for the first time since last winning it back against Juventus in 1997.

Madrid has been colossal during their domestic campaign, tasting defeat only once. They have not had the simplest of runs in the knockout stages of the UCL, needing a penalty shootout to overcome the champions of England, Manchester City, but once Madrid reach a final, they do not know how to lose. They have been utterly dominant once reaching the final stage of Europe’s premier club competition, winning all eight of their Champions League finals, including one against German opponents (Leverkusen in 2002). An unbeaten six-match run against three German sides en route to the final this term is also a good sign for Carlo Ancelotti and his troops.

Dortmund will need to play the game of their lives If they wish to leave London on a better note as compared to their last appearance in a final, back in 2013, when they fell to their arch-rival’s Bayern Munich. Their defence has been tight during this UCL campaign and if they can shut out the Spanish giants for long enough, it could be the best viable way to snatch victory. Both clubs will say goodbye to two of their respective legends. Toni Kroos will retire from football after the final, ending a sparkling career since he joined in 2014. Fellow German midfielder Marco Reus will be leaving Dortmund, calling time on an incredible 12-year spell at the Iduna Park. Reus is the team’s second-highest goal scorer of all time and won the Bundesliga player of the season award on three occasions.

Both stars would certainly have their part to play in their final game for their clubs. However, there is quality upon quality in both teams and this could be one of those game where it could come down to one moment of sheer individual brilliance to become the champions of Europe. Dortmund will come to the party, but this one has NO. 15 written all over it.

Borussia Dortmund

Kobel; Ryerson, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Maatsen; Sabitzer, Can; Sancho, Brandt, Adeyemi; Fullkrug


Real Madrid 

Courtois; Carvajal, Rudiger, Nacho, Mendy; Valverde, Camavinga, Kroos; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr


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