Real Madrid's Undécima was the hardest European Cup

The Undécima, Real Madrid’s 11th European Cup, will go down in history as the hardest out of all those won by Madrid, this unique club that takes strength from who no knows where in its toughest moments. It was, once again, a cruel final for Atlético, who caused Madrid no end of problems, but who crashed at the vital moments. The badly conceded goal from Sergio Ramos, Griezmann’s missed penalty and Juanfran hitting the post in the penalty shoot-out. Then, Cristiano, with the calmness of the greats, scored Madrid’s fifth, the winner. Football is a game of moments, and in the vital ones, it was Real Madrid who got it right.

Real Madrid lift their 11th European Cup

A great Champions League final...

It was a great final, not for the football, but for the emotions. Madrid started well, highly motivated, possibly tired of hearing so much praise for Atlético recently, about how intense they are, their solidarity, the tough teams they’ve faced in the competition, in stark contrast to Madrid’s luck in the draw. Maybe this state of mind (it's a complaint that's been heard from many Madrid fans over the past few days) was what drove Real Madrid, who came out all guns firing. Far better than Atlético. And the first goal was the result, even if its manner was unlucky on Atleti. Just before though Oblak had saved a certain goal.

Real Madrid had to dig deep to stay in it

But as the match wore on Madrid fell away and Atlético got better. In truth, Madrid’s best player was Casemiro, in his organised, effortful work at breaking up Atleti’s moves. He was far more effective than the artists alongside him. In the second half Madrid at times were overrun by Atlético, who played some great stuff on occasion. Madrid wasted some counter-attacks, conceded the goal they deserved to, and generally had a hard time of it. But when they looked exhausted, with various players suffering from cramp, they knew how to look to their history, to find the source of pride necessary to balance things up in extra-time and even finish up looking better than their rivals.