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5 greatest comebacks by Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in almost all of Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved in almost all of Real Madrid's recent Champions League wins
Sai Krishna
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 05 Aug 2020
Top 5 / Top 10

In Europe's premier club competition, the UEFA Champions League, no team has enjoyed more dominance than Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have won the Champions League a record 13 times and even completed a three-peat under manager Zinedine Zidane recently.

Much of Real Madrid's success in the tournament can be attributed to the world-class players and managers they have had over the years. Led by the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos have pulled off many incredible performances with their backs up against the wall.

In the absence of their record goal-scorer, however, the LaLiga champions must find a way to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Manchester City in the ongoing Champions League Round of 16 tie. Ahead of the high-octane clash, we take a look at Real Madrid's 5 greatest Champions League comebacks of all time.

Note: The European Cup, which was renamed as the UEFA Champions League in 1992, has not been considered.


#5 Real Madrid vs Sporting Lisbon (2016/17 Group Stage)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a free-kick to equalise, before Morata gave Real Madrid the win
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a free-kick to equalise, before Morata gave Real Madrid the win

After winning the 2015/16 Champions League in dramatic fashion against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid on penalties, Real Madrid entered the next campaign as the firm favourites and were drawn with Portuguese team Sporting CP.

In their first group stage game against Jorge Jesus' side, a goal from Bruno Cesar shortly after the half-time break left Real Madrid trailing. Cristiano Ronaldo was often the only source of inspiration for the Spanish side and after hitting the bar with around ten minutes to go, the 5-time Ballon d'Or winner was fouled just outside the box in a dangerous position.

The Portuguese international stepped up against his former side, and dispatched the free-kick into the right top corner past the despairing dive of Rui Patricio. In the dying embers of the game, substitute Alvaro Morata rose high to head James Rodriguez's inviting delivery to seal the win for Zinedine Zidane's men.

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In the same season, Real Madrid became the first-ever team in the Champions League era to successfully defend their crown.


#4 Real Madrid vs Manchester United (2012/13 Round of 16)

Cristiano Ronaldo tormented his former club in the 2012/13 Champions League
Cristiano Ronaldo tormented his former club in the 2012/13 Champions League

In the 2012/13 Champions League, Real Madrid were drawn in a fairly tricky group that featured Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Ajax.

Although they picked up only 1 point from their two games against the German giants, who went on to reach the final of the tournament, Jose Mourinho's men did enough to finish 2nd in the group.

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In the Round of 16, they were drawn against Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United, who took an early lead through Danny Welbeck's 20th-minute strike at the Santiago Bernabeu. Former Red Devil Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished as the top-scorer in the competition with 12 goals, equalised 10 minutes later with a towering header.

With the tie poised delicately heading to Old Trafford, Real Madrid found themselves down when Sergio Ramos diverted Portuguese winger Nani's cross into his own net. Staring at elimination, Los Blancos needed to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the Theatre of Dreams, and they were aided by Nani's sending off for a high boot.

Mourinho rolled the dice by bringing on Luka Modric, who levelled the scores in the 66th minute with a beautiful curled finish from outside the box. Ronaldo scored Real Madrid's second away goal just three minutes later, putting Gonzalo Higuain's delicious ball across the face of David de Gea's goal in the back of the net from mere yards out.

Real Madrid made it past Galatasaray comfortably in the quarter-finals, but a historic 4-goal performance from Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski dumped them out of the tournament at the semi-final stage.


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Published 05 Aug 2020, 22:05 IST
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