Real Madrid hope the loss to Dortmund was a minor setback in their quest
Real Madrid are consistently picked as one of the favorites to win the Champions League, yet they have failed to capture the title in the last decade. This year they will break the duck.
So far, Real Madrid's Champions League campaign has been good but not great, and they will have to be great if they are to beat the strong competition they will face.
The perennial favorites are always knocking at the door, but can't seem to find a way to open it. This season can finally be their chance.
Real Madrid definitely have the quality to win it all.
With Jose Mourinho's quest to conquer Europe, the team's ambition to prove their worth or even the competition with Barcelona for being the best team in Spain, there are a slew of reasons driving Los Blancos.
Real Madrid have their chance to justify all of those reasons by winning the Champions League this season, and they will.
Past disappointments will fuel Madrid
We've heard it all before, but Mourinho's players are hungry to prove their detractors wrong. In fact, Iker Casillas admitted that winning the Champions League may be the only thing they have on their mind this season.
Big shocker there, a team wants to win a major trophy. I realize that this is stating the obvious, but Casillas' comments are actually a good thing for the team.
After Mourinho won the treble with Inter and then moved to Madrid, it was easy for eyes to light up. If he can do it there, why can't he do it here with, arguably, a stronger team?
Teams as strong as Real Madrid should always be challenging for domestic and European titles, but, with so many teams involved, it's often hard to accomplish success on both fronts.
Rather than winning them all, Madrid's plan, whether they saw it this way or not, has been taking it a title at a time.
They've won the Copa Del Rey, La Liga and the Supercopa de Espana. Now the focus is just on the Champions League.
The singular focus means Real Madrid will do everything in their power to capture the title.
Benzema is always money in the Champions League
For numerous reasons, Karim Benzema has yet to find his true place at Real Madrid this season. He has dealt with a few injuries and also a lack of confidence from Coach Mourinho in his ability to perform.
Despite the rumored unrest and possible transfer away from the Bernabeu, Benzema insists he is insists he is happy at Madrid.
He's about to get much happier. Though no one wishes for injuries, Gonzalo Higuain getting hurt is the best thing that could happen for the French striker, because he will see more time up front.
It could also mean good things for Madrid. Without Higuain available, and not many other true striking options available, Benzema will see an increasing amount of targets to score goals.
What does it have to do with Real Madrid's chase for Champions League glory? Benzema has been a top scorer in the Champions League for Los Blancos. Him becoming the main target option should see a boon in goal totals as Madrid chases that trophy.
Kaka is improving with growing confidence
Ever since he moved to Real Madrid, Kaka has been a disappointment. The Spanish giants paid a hefty sum to lure the Brazilian playmaker away from Italy and have yet to see any return on their payment.
It hasn't all been poor work on the field for Kaka, he's also dealt with a lot of injury trouble, which has clearly hindered his playing form. Lately, though, Kaka has given Madrid hope for a return to form, or at least whatever is left of it.
He was a standout during a Champions League match with Ajax, which has led to him seeing more first-team football. More importantly, Kaka has shown what he's been lacking in most of his time with Real—confidence.
Most—not all—athletes tend to have fragile egos, and it truly shows when they are playing without confidence. Kaka has always been a player who's swagger on the field came with confidence in his game.
It may not be completely back, but having some at all is a good sign for Kaka and Madrid. His improved play means, at the very least, Mourinho can rest the players he wants to use in important matches, like Champions League matches.
Cristiano Ronaldo has his sights on Champions League glory
I've never been a huge fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and, like most detractors, it's probably because I think his attitude is garbage. His antics are incredibly agonizing for a player of his talent.
However, it's hard not to admire Ronaldo's commitment to constantly prove himself to be the best. I honestly don't know if he truly listens to all the hate, I think he does, but he doesn't need to prove them wrong. Regardless of what anyone says, in the end, I think Ronaldo is only out to prove it to himself.
He will do whatever it takes to be the best in the world.
Wayne Rooney even alluded to this type of behavior in his book, saying that while Ronaldo may be vain or concerned about his image, do not doubt his passion for football, and his ultimate goal of being the best in the world.
And the only way he'll prove it to himself is to capture the Champions League this season. He made it known at the end of last season that this was his goal, and he'll do anything to achieve this success.
It's Champions League or bust for Ronaldo, and it will be tough to stop him from getting what he wants.
Can the Special One pull another trick out of his bag?
Mourinho will finally capture the Champions League title that has eluded him since joining Real Madrid.
It's no secret that this has been his goal, and Mourinho will stop at nothing to achieve it. This, alone, should keep Madrid fans hopeful of winning the Champions League.
I mentioned earlier that the team will have a singular focus of winning the Champions League. Well, that singular focus comes straight from the Special One.
Mourinho has a borderline obsession with conquering his competition. It's not enough to just achieve success, but he has to achieve all the success.
Does that make him an arrogant person? Maybe, but, just like it does for Ronaldo, that's what makes Mourinho so great. He'll stop at literally nothing to win. He'll take the chances no one else will.
He'll deploy his three attackers in super-defensive leagues. He'll take the best team in the world's best attribute, attacking possession, and throw it in their face by allowing them all the possession, but stifling them within the final third. He'll play his star winger as a striker.
That's exactly why he'll lead Madrid to Champions League glory this year. He won it with Inter and Porto, and not winning with Chelsea is probably his only regret. He's not going to let that happen with another team.