Kashima Antlers tried their very best to stop Real Madrid in the 2016 Club World Cup final, but found themselves receiving the same thing that has been awarded to Los Blancos’ last eight opponents in international finals: a silver medal.
Atletico Madrid and Sevilla hold the infamous honour of having lost twice each to Real on this incredible run, along with Feyenoord, Olimpia, San Lorenzo, and Bayer Leverkusen.
It was against the Germans that Zinedine Zidane began the streak that he continues to this day, albeit from the dugout, as Madrid have claimed victory in nine straight finals on the international scene, a 16-year spell.
Not since Boca Juniors’ stunning 2-1 win over Real in the 2000 Intercontinental Cup have the Spanish giants come a cropper when within touching distance of a major trophy, always finding that little bit extra to get over the line.
That’s typified by the fact that a penalty shootout was dispatched against Atleti in the 2016 Champions League final, along with an additional 30 minutes versus Diego Simeone’s side two years before, as well as Sevilla in the most-recent UEFA Super Cup, and Kashima last week.
Europe’s major club competition, in particular, is a favourite of Los Blancos recently, winning five finals in a row having also seen of Juventus and Valencia since their defeat to Liverpool in the 1981 showpiece.