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Why Madrid are the ultimate winning machine

Real Madrid reporter Joe Walker is getting used to seeing them lift the UEFA Champions League trophy.

Sergio Ramos carries away the trophy for another year
Sergio Ramos carries away the trophy for another year ©Getty Images

Another year, another UEFA Champions League title for Real Madrid. Winning is not so much a habit, rather it is in their DNA. This Madrid side are the ultimate winning machine on a relentless quest for glory.

"El Madrid es el Madrid," they say in Spain – they get things done, they find a way, by hook or by crook, and they are addicted to success. They exist for nights like Saturday in Kyiv.

They were the better side against Liverpool, nullifying the Reds' swashbuckling front three and controlling midfield. All their experience and nous came to the fore and, ultimately, it was rarely in doubt. Even when pegged back to 1-1, they did not deviate from their stride, controlling possession, stroking the ball around and playing at their pace.

The cunning of Karim Benzema for the opener, the sheer quality of Gareth Bale's second and the slice of luck that all champions need for their third was perhaps the perfect illustration of Madrid's recent run in this competition.

They are kings of Europe for a third consecutive season. Somewhat remarkably, since moving to Madrid in late 2013, your correspondent has only seen them eliminated from the UEFA Champions League once in five seasons – and even that was at the semi-final stage.

"This side is legendary," beamed full-back Marcelo afterwards. "We've played against the best teams from their country, we deserved to be in the final and have done something historic."

History-maker Ramos on three in a row

Indeed, having become the first side to successfully retain the UEFA Champions League in its current format, it would have been easy to relax and let up a bit, but not Madrid. If anything it spurred them on and to complete the hat-trick, making it a not-so unlucky 13 European Cups.

Ominously, Marcelo had a warning for the rest of Europe: "We don't have a ceiling. Next year we'll be back and we won’t stop." With the 2019 final in Madrid, you would not bet against them making it four in a row. It is just what Real Madrid do.