Celebrations during Real’s win against Atalanta
16 March 2021 - Real Madrid

The Real deal

Real Madrid CF
Valeria Paz

Valeria Paz, one of our Champions Journalist fan reporters, has learnt from past experience that you can never rule out the 13-times winners

There is no better duo than the Real Madrid badge and the Champions League anthem. Every football lover knows that the club in the all-white kit are essential to this competition – and how could it not be the case? It’s a love story that started when the tournament was created, with Real marking their territory by becoming champions in the inaugural 1955/56 season.

Although we are now going through a relatively rough patch, every single Madridista (including me) always wears their jersey with pride. We consistently have high expectations for the players because of our history – a history that has made us cry, laugh, get mad and much more besides. But we end up feeling safe because we know that this is our territory: we have 13 of these beautiful trophies and only Real Madrid fans have the luxury of saying that. So, yes, the pressure on the team in these games is very high because the best performances will forever be expected.

The Spanish team’s win over Bayern in 2014

I know that’s not an issue for the players, with last night’s game against Atlanta an example of how they meet their fans' expectations – or mine, anyway. They went through to the quarter-finals with no struggle at all and it made me think of the second leg of the 2014 semi-final against Bayern München, at that time being led by one of the geniuses of football, Pep Guardiola. The match ended 4-0 in favour of Madrid, an historic moment. And I mention this to remind people that even though obstacles have appeared, Real have always found a way to reign in the Champions League.

This season might not be one of the best and the fact that the stadiums are empty does not help. It’s depressing to know that at the moment we have no other option but to watch them on a screen instead of living the magic in person, supporting them when they need it most. Nobody is denying that they could sometimes do better but despite that, the current players are capable of defending our reputation. Luka Modrić, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, among others, are strong names in the world of football. The team has the mental strength and passion to deal with the pressure – and they are on their way to reoccupying the throne that has been ours since day one.

Our Champions Journalist fan reporter:
Valeria Paz
Valeria first remembers cheering for Real Madrid as an eight-year-old and was soon sharing her dad’s passion for the club. Her top player is Iker Casillas, who she says, “was, is and will always be my favourite athlete. He taught me that success is not only about effort, but also about patience, passion and about staying true to yourself and your instincts. He’s a living legend.” So far, nothing tops Real Madrid’s 2014 Champions League win against Atlético. “I couldn’t hold back my tears when Ramos scored that 90th minute goal,” she says. “Celebrating with my best friends was unforgettable.”
About Champions Journalist fan reporters: These blogs have been written by winners of our annual Champions Journalist competition as well as a selection of editors from various fan page accounts. Together they offer their unique insights from the group stages all the way to the final.
Champions Journalist
With thanks to our Champions Journalist winner
Valeria Paz
Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.