It may seem like good fortune but Real Madrid make their own luck, and now they have gone and made history as well

Their 13th European Cup, and third in a row, cements them as all-time greats of football

Real Madrid lift the Champions League trophy

The problem people have with luck, as a concept, is that we can’t hold it, we can’t touch it, we can’t wrap ourselves in it.

But sometimes you can see it, and many of those times you are probably watching Real Madrid.

As the saying goes you do make your own luck to an extent and Madrid have been a side who have suffered variance going against them this season in La Liga. On this night in Kiev, though, the toast most certainly landed mantequilla side up.

The injury to Mohamed Salah in the first half is sad from a neutral point of view but for Madrid, who had been torn apart by the Egyptian in a 2016 Champions League quarter-final against Roma, it was the lucky break they needed.

After all, Liverpool were the better team for the first half an hour. They had 56 touches in the attacking third compared to Madrid’s 21. It wasn’t even a debate who was more likely to score.

But after Salah was substituted on 31 minutes they were shell-shocked. Lacking in ideas, they touched the ball just once in the offensive third before the break. In that same period Real Madrid managed an incredible 65.

The evening flipped in that moment, though the game flipped when Loris Karius gifted Madrid their opener. Karim Benzema’s street smarts can take as much credit for that opener as good luck, but it was the sort of incident that is so rare, so improbable, that it does seem like a fortuitous bolt from the blue.

There was little luck involved in Gareth Bale’s incredible winning goal, though a lot in his second strike which ultimately ended this game as a contest with Karius letting another disastrous goal in.

But can you really call them lucky? Because to put yourself in the situation where you can win the Champions League is to earn every ounce, every microgram of good fortune that comes your way. Now imagine doing that twice in a row, three times in a row, four times in five years.

It has been so easy to watch Real Madrid over the past few seasons and conclude they’re not really that outstanding a team but what they achieve, in silverware terms, then marks them out as one of the greatest football teams to have played the game.

That paradox is difficult to unpick. The success is difficult to explain. The answer may be luck but it’s also hard work, talent and a financial advantage that is the envy of the footballing world.

And after a while it is impossible to keep ascribing these trophies to good fortune. We must appreciate Real Madrid for what they are, an unstoppable winning machine who will go down in history

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