Real Madrid's UCL hero Dani Carvajal looks past the legendary Paco Gento: 'Why not dream of a new one?'

LONDON — Dani Carvajal might have carved out a place for himself in European Cup history on Saturday, but just over an hour after the final whistle at Wembley, Real Madrid's match winner already had his sights set on clearing Paco Gento's legendary milestone .

Carvajal was one of four Madrid players to win their sixth Champions League title on Saturday evening. The experienced right-back's second-half header put the Spanish champions on course for a fifteenth victory overall. Six of those have come in the last decade, and they've all ended with Carvajal, Luka Modric and Nacho holding the winners' medals. Toni Kroos has added five of his own to the one he won at Bayern Munich in 2013. His club career ended with the biggest highlights with a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund.

Such a record of success puts this string of Madrid greats ahead of those who built such a formidable history for this club, winning the first five European Cups from 1955 onwards. Gento, who died in 2022, was present at all those triumphs in addition to the victory over Partizan in 1966.

For so long, his six winners' medals had seemed beyond the reach of anyone, even those who harbored Madrid's ruthless belief that they would win no matter the circumstances. Now Carvajal dreams of adding a seventh.

“I am very happy to join this select club,” he said. “We get one every time [more] it will become increasingly complicated to take the record from us. We know how difficult it is. I am very happy that I play against all six of them in the first eleven at the club of my life.

“If I could speak to Paco Gento, I would say that it seemed impossible to join this club. Of course, why not dream of buying a new club? Whatever the future brings, we will to see.”

Carvajal may not be the most decorated name in Madrid's hegemony at this tournament, but both Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane are banking on his experienced nous. Whether that makes him a legend may not be the question he should be asking in the wake of Madrid's greatest moment in two decades. However, the 32-year-old did offer a suggestion for how his legacy could be cemented. “Maybe I should just quit, like Toni,” he said.

“People who know me know that I work every day… When most employees tell you that you deserve it, you eventually believe it. You see what it means, when you are aware of hard work, you get that reward. It's really fun.”

Carvajal's goal, only the second he has scored in the Champions League, proved to be the decisive moment in a closely fought match. Borussia Dortmund had had the better of the first half, but Madrid's right-back had had chances to swing the game in his side's favor, tipping a header just wide of the post just over Gregor Kobel's crossbar.

He made no mistakes when another chance came his way, making the most of Nacho's block to go ahead of Niklas Fullkrug and meet Kroos' free-kick with a powerful header. His manic energy betrayed his inexperience as a goalscorer, but it was that same drive that allowed a 6ft 1in right-back to rise above all the others to score the winning header.

“I just ran to celebrate. Inside I was just angry and said: here I am. It's not just about height. You have to be there, jump to the ball, show determination and sometimes even the smallest players can make headers to make.”

Related Posts

  • Sports
  • June 25, 2024
  • 2 views
  • 6 minutes Read
One win, one clean sheet, but too many missed opportunities – USMNT needs to be more ruthless

The debate surrounding the U.S. men's national team heading into Sunday's Copa America group stage opener was about the balance between performance and results. The consensus came down to this:…

  • Sports
  • June 25, 2024
  • 4 views
  • 6 minutes Read
Copa America 2024 schedule, live stream: where Argentina vs. Chile can be seen

The Copa America has arrived as CONMEBOL and Concacaf join forces for the first time since 2016. In that edition, Chile beat Argentina, but a lot has changed since then.…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

Connect Money scores $8 million to enable non-bank companies to offer integrated financial services

  • June 25, 2024
Connect Money scores $8 million to enable non-bank companies to offer integrated financial services

One win, one clean sheet, but too many missed opportunities – USMNT needs to be more ruthless

  • June 25, 2024
One win, one clean sheet, but too many missed opportunities – USMNT needs to be more ruthless

Meet Jordan Bardella, the man who could be France's next Prime Minister

  • June 25, 2024
Meet Jordan Bardella, the man who could be France's next Prime Minister

Copa America 2024 schedule, live stream: where Argentina vs. Chile can be seen

  • June 25, 2024
Copa America 2024 schedule, live stream: where Argentina vs.  Chile can be seen

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, pleads guilty to violating the Espionage Act

  • June 25, 2024
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, pleads guilty to violating the Espionage Act

How to customize your TV screensavers

  • June 25, 2024
How to customize your TV screensavers

Angel Reese leads the way in Sky's rivalry victory over Fever's Caitlin Clark

  • June 25, 2024
Angel Reese leads the way in Sky's rivalry victory over Fever's Caitlin Clark

A Maryland couple 'walked for hours' before dying in the heat of the Hajj

  • June 25, 2024
A Maryland couple 'walked for hours' before dying in the heat of the Hajj

A Hidden Treasure in the Milky Way — Astronomers discover ultra-bright X-ray source

  • June 25, 2024
A Hidden Treasure in the Milky Way — Astronomers discover ultra-bright X-ray source

India's Zyod is raising $18 million to expand its tech-enabled fashion manufacturing to more countries

  • June 25, 2024
India's Zyod is raising $18 million to expand its tech-enabled fashion manufacturing to more countries

Elon Musk welcomes third child with Neuralink CEO. Here you can see how many children he has now.

  • June 25, 2024
Elon Musk welcomes third child with Neuralink CEO.  Here you can see how many children he has now.