Champions League: Real Madrid must make history if they are to win trophy

After losing to Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid must pull off an unprecedented Champions League feat if they are to claim a 14th European title.

Champions League: Real Madrid must make history to win trophy
Denis Doyle Getty Images

If Real Madrid are to secure the 14th European title in their history this season, they will have to do what no other Champions League side has ever done.

Real Madrid stunned by Shakhtar in Champions League opener

In what was the shock of the first round of 2020/21 Champions League group-stage matches, Madrid began their continental campaign on Wednesday with a defeat to Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk at the Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano.

Despite second-half goals by Luka Modric and Vinícus Júnior, the Spanish champions fell to a 3-2 Group B loss after a disastrous first 45 saw Zinedine Zidane’s men concede three times without reply.

No club has won Champions League after starting with defeat

And since the inception of the Champions League in the 1992/93 season, no club has lifted the trophy after losing its opening game in the competition.

In the entire history of the European Cup, meanwhile, Madrid are one of just two clubs who have bounced back from defeat in their first game to be crowned champions.

In 1965/66, Los Blancos won their sixth European crown despite a 2-1 opening defeat to Feyenoord, before AC Milan lifted the trophy for the second time in 1968/69 after recovering from a 2-1 reverse against Malmö in the first round.

Two straight defeats lead to question marks over Zidane future

Coming on the back of a surprise 1-0 LaLiga loss at home to newly-promoted Cádiz on Saturday, Madrid's defeat to Shakhtar has sparked doubts over Zidane’s future as Bernabéu boss.

Indeed, club chiefs are believed to be preparing for the possibility that Zidane could be replaced, with Raúl González Blanco and Mauricio Pochettino in the frame to take over from the Frenchman.