UEFA Champions League
Champions League final: Real Madrid tops Borussia Dortmund to win 15th title
UEFA Champions League

Champions League final: Real Madrid tops Borussia Dortmund to win 15th title

Updated Jun. 1, 2024 6:24 p.m. ET

Real Madrid is the champion of Europe once again. 

The continent’s most decorated club added to its trophy haul on Saturday by winning the UEFA Champions League for the sixth time since 2014, marking its 15th European triumph overall.

Borussia Dortmund looked every bit Real’s equal during most of Saturday’s final at Wembley Stadium in London. The Germans were undoubtedly the better team in the first half — and probably beyond. 

Dortmund was unlucky not to be ahead on the scoreboard after 45 minutes after Niclas Füllkrug hit the post and Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made three saves to keep his side even.


It stayed deadlocked until there was a little more than a quarter-hour remaining. That’s when veteran Real right back Dani Carvajal headed home a corner kick from fellow longtime Blanco Toni Kroos, who was playing his final club match before retirement. Brazil forward Vinícius Júnior, scorer of Real’s Champions League-clinching goal in 2022, put the outcome beyond any doubt when he made it 2-0 just nine minutes later.

Play of the game

It has to be Carvajal’s winner. Until the 32-year-old found the breakthrough in the 74th minute, Dortmund had every chance of pulling off what would’ve gone down as a colossal upset. BVB was the clear underdog in the lead up to this one. Once the whistle blew, however, they proved a formidable and capable opponent. 

But they were also wasteful. For all of their pretty passing on the break, the Black & Yellow couldn’t find the potentially result-altering opener. The longer it stayed 0-0, the more likely it seemed that Real would do what Real always does. 

Sure enough, Carvajal — perhaps Real’s least likely hero — was there to provide what was needed, and it’s fitting that Kroos got the assist on his sendoff:

"That’s Real Madrid for you," Los Blancos standout Jude Bellingham said afterward. "We're never out of the game, you can never write us off, and we have game winners all over the pitch. We showed that again tonight."

Turning point

Dortmund had its best two chances to score during a three-minute stretch in the second half. 

First, Karim Adeyemi couldn’t finish after rounding Courtois. Then Füllkrug's shot beat Courtois, only for the ball to clang off the inside of the far post:

Key stat

At the end of the first half, Dortmund had three shots on target to Madrid’s none. By the time the match was over, the count was 4-6 in favor of the victors, who also finished the contest with an almost 60% to 40% possession advantage.

What’s next for Real Madrid?

It will be hard to top this season. Madrid won La Liga a month ago, and while they had captured the club game’s most coveted trophy 14 times before (the next most successful team, Italy’s AC Milan, has seven European crowns), this is the first time they’ve done it in the Champions League era without ever losing a game.

The rich will only get richer next season, with Brazilian prodigy Endrick joining the club and France superstar Kylian Mbappé officially en route as soon as early next week. Manchester City, Bayern Munich and others might have something to say about it, but only a fool would bet against Real winning for a 16th time in 2025.

What’s next for Borussia Dortmund?

Just getting to the most prestigious match in club soccer is a momentous achievement for Dortmund, which won its only Champions League way back in 1997 and last reached the final more than a decade ago.

Fans at the cavernous Westfalenstadion will be hoping that this year’s success in European play will translate to a better season in the Bundesliga in 2024-25. The Black & Yellow finished all the way back in fifth this campaign, and they haven’t won the German title since going back-to-back in 2011 and 2012.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered the United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him at @ByDougMcIntyre.


Get more from UEFA Champions League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more