Champions League Final: Dortmund Vs Real Madrid - Do League Positions Matter?

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Champions League Final: Dortmund Vs Real Madrid - Do League Positions Matter?

The Champions of Europe will be crowned on Saturday at Wembley when Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid meet in the Champions League final. 

It’s the 32nd decider since the competition rebranded from the European Cup to the Champions League.

Real Madrid will run out onto the Wembley pitch as the La Liga champions while Dortmund finished fifth in this season’s Bundesliga, which guarantees them a place in next season’s expanded Champions League.

Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid are the odds-on favourites with the UK betting sites to be crowned champions of Europe for a 15th time, and ninth in the Champions League era. 

Dortmund are looking for their second Champions League title and their first since 1997.

At Gambling.com, we have gone through the history books to see how often the winners of the Champions League also finished the season top of their domestic leagues.

Champions League Winners' Pie Chart

Real Looking For Third Champions League And La Liga Double

Eight European clubs have completed the treble of winning the Champions League, their domestic league and their domestic cup, but remarkably Real Madrid are not one of them. 

The Bernabeu club will have to wait another year for a chance to add their name to the list that includes Manchester City, who did so last season.

Carlo Ancelotti will have to make do with a possible double after neighbours Atletico knocked them out of the Copa Del Rey in January.

Real Madrid Champions League

Real Madrid have won the Champions League after finishing first, second, third, fourth and fifth in La Liga.

Two of the last three times they have been presented with the Champions League trophy, it followed success in the league.

Madrid’s record in Europe’s biggest cup final is the envy of every other club in the continent. Not only is their name engraved on the trophy 14 times, they have been runners-up a further three times.

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The last time they lost a final was when Liverpool beat them 1-0 in Paris in 1981 when Alan Kennedy scored the only goal. 

Since then, Los Blancos have won all eight finals and victory against Dortmund will see Madrid become the seventh team to complete a Champions League and league double.

Dortmund Have Unfinished Business At Wembley

Football betting sites are struggling to find reasons why Dortmund’s odds should be shorter than they currently are.

After all, they finished fifth in the Bundesliga, 27 points behind champions Bayer Leverkusen after winning 18 of their 34 games.

However, Saturday’s Champions League final is a one-off contest and they will feel they have just as much chance of winning as their opponents.

Dortmund’s name is already on the trophy, courtesy of their 3-1 win over Juventus in the final at the end of the 1996/97 season.

Two goals from Karl-Heinz Reidle gave BVB a 2-0 half-time lead, before Alessandro Del Piero pulled a goal back for the Italians. 

Dortmund Champions League

Lars Ricken secured a historic first triumph for Dortmund with his side’s third goal in the 71st minute. 

This will be the competition’s eighth final to be held at Wembley, old or new, and the first since Dortmund’s last appearance in the final in 2013.

That night, an Arjen Robben goal in the 89th minute broke Dortmund hearts as Bayern Munich won the only all-German final 2-1. 

There is certainly a feeling of unfinished business for Dortmund this weekend and for Mats Hummels and Marco Reus who played that night. 

Finishing fifth in their league counts for nothing in the Champions League final as three teams have proven in the past.

Real Madrid won the competition despite finishing fifth in La Liga in 2000, when they beat Valencia, who finished two places above them.

Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool finished the 2004/05 Premier League season fifth, and after 45 minutes, they trailed Milan 3-0 in the Champions League final. 

But the Reds produced their Miracle of Istanbul to score three second half goals and win the final on penalties. 

Chelsea are the only team to have won the Champions League after finishing sixth in their league, doing so in 2012 when they came through a penalty shootout to beat Bayern Munich at Bayern’s own ground.

Dortmund might be underdogs to be the fourth team to be crowned champions of Europe despite finishing their domestic programme fifth or lower.

This will be the fifth final between German and Spanish sides and the scores are level at two wins each. 

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