Real Madrid win 15th Champions League title. GETTY IMAGES

Real Madrid overcame a formidable challenge from Borussia Dortmund and rode their luck to win the Champions League by claiming a 2-0 victory over their German opponents at Wembley.

This victory marks Real Madrid's ninth consecutive win in Europe's elite competition finals. Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, Nacho Fernandez, and Luka Modric have now matched Real legend Paco Gento by winning six titles. Additionally, Carlo Ancelotti has become the most decorated coach with five trophies.

"They kept us alive with their level of play. We started to play better in the second half," said Ancelotti. "This is the Real Madrid story. The Spanish team is relentless. If a team has a chance against them and they don't take advantage of it, the result will be a defeat."

That is what happened to Borussia Dortmund, who had a very good first half and could have won it if they had taken their chances. In front of a sell-out crowd at Wembley, a header from Carvajal and finish from Vinicius Junior ensured of the victory on English soil.

At Europe's biggest tournament, Real Madrid continue to add to the legend that makes them the biggest club with the most titles. Their numbers are so impressive they are hard to believe and, of course, they will be hard to beat. Madrid have won the last nine European Cup finals and have lifted the trophy six times in the last 11 seasons. 

Carlo Ancelotti, with five titles, is the most decorated coach in the Champions League. GETTY IMAGES
Carlo Ancelotti, with five titles, is the most decorated coach in the Champions League. GETTY IMAGES

As well as being the most decorated, their luck in this tournament is inexplicable. Borussia were the underdogs. Though they were the better side in the first half. Niclas Fullkrug hit the post and Karim Adeyemi was denied by Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one.

"I'm very happy with this team. We don't always play our best football, but we never give up," added Ancelotti. In their last three Champions League triumphs, Real Madrid have been the underdogs at times, but have come from behind to win. This year's semi-final against Bayern Munich was a case in point. 

They were on the brink of defeat giving Dortmund's attacking threat, but within five minutes they had turned the match around, eventually beating the German side 2-1.

Nacho captained the side on Saturday night. He is a youngster from the Spanish team's academy. Modric, the Ballon d'Or winner, repeated the feat and will continue to do so at Madrid, while Kroos is retiring after winning another European Cup. Ancelotti also became the most successful coach in the competition's history. He won his fifth title.

Wembley was set for a show to remember. A record 2,500 security guards were on duty at Wembley. They were there to prevent a repeat of the Euro 2020 final three years ago, when ticketless fans stormed the turnstiles. However, it's hard to understand how three pitch invaders managed to get onto the pitch in the first few minutes of the game and take photographs with Jude Bellingham and Vinicius. The Metropolitan Police reported 53 arrests, including five for pitch invasion

Saturday's game was a repeat of history. Real Madrid have played the same game many times before. Speaking before the game, Ancelotti said he felt "like a lion" after napping. His team looked asleep at the start. The Germans filled more than half of Wembley. However, even with that atmosphere, Dortmund couldn't overcome a Madrid side for whom Ancelotti had decided to recall Courtois. 

Dani Carvajal netted the first goal at Wembley to give Real Madrid the lead. GETTY IMAGES
Dani Carvajal netted the first goal at Wembley to give Real Madrid the lead. GETTY IMAGES

The goalkeeper was making his first Champions League appearance of the season after recovering from a serious knee injury. He was the best in the first half. "We didn't have the efficiency to score," said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic. That's how it was. 

"We were close to taking the lead, but then there was a momentum shift where the game turned around. You can see why they are the champions of this competition."

Ancelotti, Nacho and Modric were keen to stress on matchday eve that Madrid's habit of finding a way to win Champions Leagues is no coincidence. Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel denied Kroos a spectacular free-kick that would have given him a farewell goal. 

After an incomparable career, German Kroos leaves football. He has one more European Championship to go before he hangs up his boots for good. Bellingham became an international star during his three years at Dortmund. He joined Madrid 12 months ago in a deal worth more than €100 million ($108 million). 

In a Champions League final, the Englishman came up against his former team. It was a script nobody could have predicted, with Dortmund far from the favourites.

However, the legend surrounding Kroos is immense. Ancelotti still dreams of the 34-year-old changing his mind. "He finished at the top. It is not possible to go out better," said Ancelotti. "Not just in his game, but in his attitude, in his professionalism. He has never missed a day in 10 years. We hope he changes his mind, we will be here if he does," he added.

Fresh from helping Germany win the World Cup in Brazil, Kroos joined Madrid in 2014. He is part of a generation that has ushered in a second era of European dominance for the Spanish giants. "I'm going to miss this," said Kroos. "Of course I wanted to say goodbye with this Champions League win. "The title means an incredible amount to me."

Kroos had heeded coach Julian Nagelsmann's call to return for one last major tournament after retiring from international duty following Germany's Euro 2021 last-16 exit. However, he has fulfilled his ambition to go out on his own terms at club level.

In the revamped and reformed Intercontinental Cup, Real Madrid will be the first European club to challenge for the trophy. The Intercontinental is part of a reformed calendar that has seen the creation of an expanded version of the Club World Cup, which will debut in the United States in 2025 with a new format featuring 32 teams instead of the current seven.

Al Ain of the Emirates, Al Ahly of Egypt and Auckland of New Zealand had already won their confederation titles before this weekend. A few hours after Real Madrid's triumph, Mexico's Pachuca were crowned champions of Concacaf (North, Central America and the Caribbean), beating Columbus Crew 3-0 in the final.

Of the six teams competing in the new intercontinental competition, only the South American winners of this year's Copa Libertadores remain unknown, with the draw for the last 16 taking place on Monday. Winning the Champions League will also earn Real Madrid a place in the UEFA Super Cup, which kicks off the official European club competition season.

Real Madrid will take on recent Europa League winners Atalanta on 14 August. The match will be played at the National Stadium in Warsaw.