Follow live: Dortmund's fairytale run vs. mighty Real Madrid in UCL final


This is the ultimate establishment-vs.-anti-establishment final.

Real Madrid are the kings of European football. Since the very first edition of the European Cup (1955-56), which they won (just like the next four as well), they’ve held that title. They’ve now won the competition twice as much as anybody else. They’re one of the richest clubs in the world — if not the richest. They have outsize political pull in Spain and at UEFA. They even tried to reshape European soccer around their power — by launching the Super League. Three years later, they’re still championing the “project.”

Dortmund, meanwhile, were a key Super League holdout. Their opposition helped ensure it collapsed. They — club officials and fans alike — have regularly spoken out against the rampant commercialization of football, both in Germany and Europe. They’ve resisted dirty money. They still carry a very Jurgen Klopp-ian, upstart ethos.

Dortmund, of course, has money too. Its annual revenue ranked 12th in the world last year. But its €420 million was roughly half as much as Madrid’s haul. This is mismatch, on the field and off it, financially and culturally — all of it.



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