Before Real Madrid’s 2-6 win at FC Schalke 04’s Veltins-Arena in 2014, they had lost 24 out of 25 visits to Germany. The only win before that came in the year 2000 against Bayer Leverkusen. After also beating Bayern Munich 0-4 and Schalke again 0-2, the “curse” has returned as VfL Wolfsburg beat Los Blancos 2-0 on the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
Despite those two wins, Real still had a difficult time playing German teams, whether away or at home. After the 2-6 at Schalke in 2014, Borussia Dortmund managed to fight back the 3-0 from the Santiago Bernabéu. With a 2-0 win, Marco Reus almost led the clash to extra time. After the 2-0 at Schalke in 2015, the German squad was only one goal away from advancing to the next stage with a 3-4 win in the Spanish capital.
Now a year later, things have gone wrong for Madrid again. Even though Wolfsburg was seen as one of the weaker links of the European draw, a look at their lineup would challenge that belief. Coach Dieter Hecking is 90 minutes away from making it to the semi-finals. With stellar performances from Draxler and Henrique, Madridistas fear a catastrophe.
Zinedine Zidane must thoroughly plan the second leg, as reverting this result seems accessible in theory, but many factors could complicate it. A 2-0 Madrid win would lead to extra time, and a 3-0 would seal the pass to the next round. However, if Wolfsburg score one goal, Ronaldo and company would have to score four if they want to move forward. One thing’s certain, the Champions League never ceases to bring surprises.