Road to the 2014 Champions League Final: Real Madrid

Martin Rose

Madrid cruised through Group B, and ran the Bundesliga gauntlet in the knockout rounds to earn a place in this season's final.

SB Nation 2014 Champions League Preview

Real Madrid qualified for the 2013/14 Champions League after finishing second in La Liga the previous season, earning an automatic spot in the group stages for the tenth straight season.

Los Blancos were drawn into Group B with Galatasaray, Juventus, and FC Copenhagen, and began group play with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Galatasaray. They followed up with two more victories -- a 4-0 defeat of Copenhagen and a 2-1 win over Juve -- to finish the first half of group play undefeated. Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw by Juve in the return match in Turin, but finished the group stage strong with wins over Galatasaray and Copenhagen to finish first in the group, qualifying for the knockout stages.

Madrid were drawn against Schalke 04 in the Round of 16, and had no trouble with the German side, winning the two-leg tie by an aggregate score of 9-2. Their adventure through the Bundesliga continued in the quarterfinals against last year's Champions League runner-up Borussia Dortmund, the team that had knocked Madrid out of the tournament in the semifinals.

Last season, Dortmund took a three-goal lead after the first leg and then survived a furious comeback attempt by Madrid to advance to the final. This time, Madrid turned the tables on Dortmund, taking the first leg 3-0 at the Estadio Bernabéu before holding on in the second leg to advance 3-2 on aggregate.

In the semifinal round, Madrid faced defending champions Bayern Munich in a match-up many had hoped to see in the final. Los Blancos took a 1-0 lead after the first leg in Madrid, before heading to Munich for the second leg. While many picked the Germans to comeback and advance to their second straight final, it was Madrid who stepped-up, crushing Bayern 4-0.

Cristiano Ronaldo led the team in scoring with 16 goals, breaking the single-season Champions League scoring record of 14 that had been held by Lionel Messi and José Altafini.

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.