Madrid – Real Madrid celebrated reaching their third Champions League final in three years and hit out at claims they are lucky.
Midfielder Luka Modric was asked about a couple of penalty decisions that went Real Madrid’s way during Tuesday’s second leg.
He said: “It’s surprising that the critics always want to minimise our success with controversy. I did not see if it was a penalty or not because I was not in the right place. The main thing is that we are able to achieve something that I never would have dreamed possible when I started out as a footballer.”
“Bayern are a great rival and along with their talent they are Germans and they do not give up. But we achieved our aim, which was to reach another final.”
Madrid survived two possible penalty claims. The first was when Marcelo handled in the area and the second came when Sergio Ramos appeared to push Robert Lewandowski in the back. Marcelo admitted: “The ball hit my hand and so it was a penalty. I would be a liar if I said that it did not.”
Not surprisingly, the Catalan sports press backed the claims that Madrid had leaned heavily on good fortune.
Diario Sport played on an old Madrid terrace chant, “This is how Madrid win”, as its headline. There were images of Marcelo’s handball and the mistake that led to Madrid’s second goal underneath the headline.
One thing both supporters and critics agreed on, was that Madrid had reached their fourth final in five years thanks in large part to their goalkeeper.
Keylor Navas has been criticised at times this season as rumours persist in Spain that the club are looking to replace him. He made a mistake for Bayern’s goal a week ago but made a string of saves on Tuesday night.
“They don’t need another keeper,” joked Navas. “I cut my hair and now I am a different player.”
He added: “If it was up to me, then I would renew and would retire at Madrid. Thanks to all those who believe that (Navas) is a goalkeeper worthy of Real Madrid.”
There was humility, too, from Real midfielder Lucas Vazquez, who performed manfully at full-back.
Asked if he had won a starting place in the final later this month, he said: “We will see. Zidane is the man who decides. We will all be there to win it together in Kiev.”