Real Madrid Basketball Team Aiming for Historic Back-to-Back Euroleague Titles

The challenge is considerable, even for the basketball team with the most European Cups. Only twice in its history (1964 and 1965 / 1967 and 1968) has achieved the Real Madrid win two consecutive Euroleagues, and 56 years have passed since the last time. Now, Chus Mateo’s team, which this Friday will begin the defense of the continental title in the Final Four of Berlin against Olympiacos, the same rival whom he beat in last year’s final with a basket in the last second, wants to close the circle of a unique generation.

In 34 of the 62 editions of the European Cupthe champion has been decided with a Final Four. Under this format, only three teams have managed to celebrate the title two years in a row: Kukoc’s Jugoplastika, who chained three (1989, 90 and 91); he Maccabi of Jasikevicius, Parker and Vujcic (2004 and 05); and the Olympiacos de Spanoulis (2012 y 13). Now, Madrid lands in Berlin for its third Final Four as the rival to beat and with the intention of joining that select group.

“All teams want to beat the champion. The name we represent is historic and the trophies speak for themselves, said Rudy Fernández regarding the possibility of achieving what would be the fourth Euroleague in 10 years for the white club. “We are Madrid and everyone wants to beat us. Being able to revalidate the title would be historic and that responsibility makes us stronger and it leads us to be focused on our work,” assumed the player with the most appearances in the history of the Spanish team.

Rudy, before his last? Final Four

For Rudy it will be the eighth, and who knows if last Final Four. The Mallorcan forward, 39 years old, has hinted that he will retire at the end of the year, although he has not yet confirmed one hundred percent that he will leave professional basketball. In the meantime, he will focus on live it “as if it were the first”as will the hard core of the locker room which has been winning European Cups since 2015.

“I have lived many Final Four And once we get here I really want to play, compete and return to Berlinto a field that I like to enjoy with my teammates,” added Rudy, part of the backbone of the team along with two other historic players who also end their contract in 2024, the Chacho Rodríguez and Sergio Llullteam captain.

In the case of the latter, everything seems directed towards its continuity, although right now concern for its future does not enter into its plans. “It’s just as special as the others, we know how hard it is to arrive with a very difficult competition. We are aware that we have not done anything yet and “Wearing this shirt requires winning in Berlin.”said Llull, who tried to summarize the winning character of the group he leads.

Llull, a mandarin that I would “repeat”

“Here it is not worth reaching Final Four, you have to win. This is what we try to instill in the younger ones. When you put on this shirt you know the responsibility that comes withyou have to give everything and sometimes even that is not enough,” stressed Llull, who will arrive “with great enthusiasm and desire” to his tenth Final Four, in which he will see faces with an old acquaintance whom he executed just a year ago.

“I’ve seen it a lot of times, it was a basket with which Every child dreams of hitting the winning shot in a Euroleague final.and it has come to mind many times since then,” Llull recalled about the basket in the last second that gave the European Cup to Madrid in 2023 in the final against Olympiacos. And he warned, he would do it again: “I’m not going to hide if the team and the coach believe that I am the best option to decide the game.

A “chimera” within reach

Precisely his coach, Chus Mateo, tried to reduce the pressure that his captains showed they imposed on themselves by valuing the fact of arriving in Berlin and the opportunity to make history. “Two years ago, when I took the team It could be thought that it was a chimera to opt for two Euroleagues in a row and now we are going to try to do everything possible to write a very nice page in the history of the clubrepeating the title for the first time since 1968,” he explained.

“This challenge of winning two Euroleagues is what is going to move us, It will push us to move our legs faster. History is written, two consecutive titles were achieved in 1967 and 68, and we want to do it again,” stressed the white coach, emphasizing example to the soccer teamwhich will play on June 1 Champions League finalthere being the option for both sections to be European champions at the same time as It already happened in 2018. “I wish we could repeat it. Seeing Ancelotti is wonderfulsee how he leads the team. He is the best coach possible. When we see each other we talk a lot about everything, basketball and football.”

2024-05-22 08:23:31
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