Vinícius Júnior is the hero of an epic Champions League final
Brazilian striker scores Real Madrid’s winning goal against Liverpool, in a game marked by emotion and an attempt to invade the stadium
It was the crowning of a heroic finale. After being dominated throughout the first half by Liverpool, Real Madrid won the Champions League final. And the hero was Brazilian Vinícius Júnior, who scored after a low cross by Valverde.
The winning goal came in the 14th minute of the second half. After that the game picked up even more speed. Liverpool put full pressure against Real Madrid, with some counterattacks by the Spanish team, including good plays from Vinícius Júnior.
In the 80th minute of the game, Liverpool had made 20 shots on goal, while Real Madrid had two shots. The game had five minutes of extra time, with Liverpool trying to score until the last moment.
Liverpool started the game dominating, with two good attempts on goal until the opening 15 minutes, avoided by the excellent Thibaut Courtois. In the 20th minute, the Senegalese Mané sent the ball wide in the right corner, palmed by the Belgian goalkeeper.
In the second half of the first half the game was a little more balanced, but most of the danger shots were from Liverpool. In the 42nd minute, Benzema scored, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
All the excitement remained for the second half.
Brazilians in the field
Liverpool were already touted as favorites before kick-off, but Real Madrid arrived packed with a more difficult journey. He passed through Chelsea, the most recent champion, PSG and Manchester City, in heroic comebacks and games. The team’s seven lives lasted until the decision.
This is a championship that Merengues are used to winning. Real Madrid is the record holder for Champions League achievements, now with 14 titles. Liverpool have accumulated six victories in the European club tournament.
This was the first Champions League final in which Brazilians were the dominant nationality. For Liverpool they started playing Alisson and Fabinho. Roberto Firmino came on in the second half, when the English team was already behind on the scoreboard. For Real Madrid, Casemiro, Vinicius Junior and Militão started. Rodrygo came on in the second half. Marcelo, captain of the Spanish team, was on the bench, but lifted the cup in celebration.
In an interview at halftime in the second half, Neymar said that Vini Jr, as the striker is identified on the Real Madrid shirt, deserves to be voted the best in the world of the season. The hunch got even hotter after the electrifying finale.
Pepper gas at the entrance gate
The game took 37 minutes to start due to invasion attempts and difficulty for Liverpool fans to access the Stade de France in Paris. Many fans with tickets stayed behind the gates and were beaten by the police.
Tear gas and pepper bombs were thrown at fans trying to force their way in. Reds are famous for fanaticism. “You’ll never walk alone” is the English team’s slogan in the stadiums.
Until the game finally started. The opening show of the final was done by Camila Cabello. In the stands there were tennis players who are playing in the Roland Garros tournament these days, like the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, a Real Madrid fan. His presence, apparently, brought the luck that the meringues needed.