Real Madrid’s jubilant players have all identified a change of mood after their late equalizer against Manchester City saw them complete their incredible Champions League comeback.
Real were eyeing a semi-final defeat before added time at the end of their second leg with two goals in total, but a quick brace from Rodrygo in that stoppage time forced the game into extra time. At that time, Real players Thibaut Courtois, Casemiro and Fede Valverde all said they knew there would only be one winner.
Goalscoring hero Rodrygo also said Madrid’s history in the Champions League and their comebacks against PSG and Chelsea in this year’s competition was enough to give them confidence that they could knock out City too.
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“We were losing the game, we were dead and what happened happened,” Rodrygo said.
“With this jersey, you learn to always fight until the end. We were almost dead but with my first goal we started to believe it.”
That equalizer of the night also gave the Bernabeu crowd the belief that Real could turn the tide, and from that moment City were beaten.
“It’s the spirit and the desire to win. When they score a goal, everything seems to fall apart, but the fans were a big help to keep fighting until the end,” said said Valverde.
“When the goals arrive, you say: ‘We are going to win’. They are very good, Paris, Chelsea, City. The match I suffered the most was against Chelsea, it was very hard physically. They ran until the last . Today, emotionally, we were very good”.
Goalkeeper Courtois, who turned down Jack Grealish just before Madrid returned, said he could see a change in City’s attitude when Real scored their first and the crowd reacted.
He told Movistar: “One word: Real Madrid. We kept believing until the end, just before a key Mendy save took off. We made it 1-1 and they looked In extra time, we tried to defend well, but we weren’t good, we missed passes, a missed free kick from Vini.
“But that goal, that moment. The 1-1, we won’t say screwed up, but they knew anything could happen. We knocked out some really big teams, who spent a lot of money to win the Champions League. Today “today was more about the last minutes and it’s more amazing. We really want to get back to a final. When you get to a final, everyone has a huge craving, no matter who already has three or four “.
Midfielder Casemiro was arguably lucky to be on the pitch in the first half after committing three bookable offenses but not getting a card.
“Incredible. There is no better feeling, it was very difficult to get here,” he said, echoing his teammates’ assessments.
“We have to take advantage of the moment. We spent two years without an audience, we lost a lot of people, now we have to enjoy with them. This final is for them, but we know that the most difficult part remains. We must congratulate everyone , that’s what this club is, the key phrase is: never give up.
“We have to be happy, we knocked out a great team, a great manager… ‘My God, how they play football. It’s for the people!’