What Does 'La Decima' Mean?

Gareth Bale holds the Champions League trophy aloft
Pablo Blazquez / Getty Images

'La Decima' (meaning 10th in Spanish) is the term used for Real Madrid’s obsession with winning a 10th European Cup.

Real, a club with a long and proud history in Europe, had not won the European Cup (now called the Champions League) since claiming the trophy for a ninth time in 2002. They ended their 12-year wait in the 2014 final against city rivals Atletico Madrid, triumphing 4-1 after extra time.

Millions had been spent in the quest to win a 10th trophy, and it was  the club’s two most expensive players – Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo – who netted two of the goals in extra-time. Earlier Sergio Ramos had scored a decisive last minute equalizer in normal time, and Marcelo was also on target as Real eventually overwhelmed their neighbours to achieve 'La Decima'.

What they said

"La Decima was really special because, from the first day I arrived at Madrid, everyone was talking about it. It had been a long time - 12 years since the last European Cup - that the club had been fighting to win it and as soon as I arrived, it was the only thing that people would talk about." - coach Carlo Ancelotti

"It was an unforgettable moment. It was a dream come true; not only being chosen as the best player in the final, but also the fact we won the Champions League, something every player wants to achieve. It was a very, very emotional match – we were close to losing it but in the end we won. It was really crazy what happened. It is a very nice memory which will stay in my mind for the rest of my life." - man-of-the-match Angel Di Maria

"It is what every footballer dreams of and it doesn't come bigger in club football. The celebration of the crowd meant everything to me, but the most important thing is we worked hard as a team and won the trophy and the 10th title for the club." - goalscorer Gareth Bale