Real Madrid reach Champions League on ‘dream’ night for Joselu


Real Madrid forward Joselu said “even my best dreams” couldn’t come close to his match-winning Champions League performance on Wednesday, after scoring twice in three minutes to beat Bayern Munich 2-1.

Substitute Alphonso Davies had put Bayern ahead in the 68th minute of the semifinal second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu, to lead 1-0 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate.

However, Joselu levelled in the 88th minute and scored again in the 91st minute — converting Antonio Rüdiger‘s cross — to put Madrid into the final at Wembley in London on June 1, where they’ll face Borussia Dortmund.

“I don’t know about being a hero, but I’m very happy,” Joselu told reporters after the match. “You can imagine! It was incredible, spectacular. This team never gives up. Fighting until the end is in its blood.”

Madrid have now qualified for six Champions League finals in 11 years, having won the competition in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022.

They’ll have the chance to complete a LaLiga and Champions League double this season, after wrapping up the league title last weekend.

“You always dream about this kind of performance,” Joselu said. “The first goal was about being smart, and being ready. They were tired … Not even my best dreams are as good as [what happened] today.”

Madrid have made a habit of staging dramatic European comebacks at the Bernabeu, turning around ties with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City on their way to the 2022 final.

“It’s happened again,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “It’s something inexplicable, and it’s happened again, with a fantastic atmosphere, and players who never stopped believing.

“It was a difficult game, we had chances, we had control, and then we had the strength not to lose our heads. I have to thank the fans, the club, and above all the players, who have had a season nobody expected.

“I didn’t expect this squad to do what they’ve done either. Getting to the final is success, and then whatever happens, happens.”

Joselu, 34, joined Madrid on loan from Espanyol last summer and has scored nine times in LaLiga and five times in the Champions League.

“He reflects what this team is,” Ancelotti said. “He’s a player who’s done a lot this season, without getting a lot of minutes. He’s the perfect reflection of what this squad is — players who have done a lot, never losing confidence, with the idea that they can contribute.”


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