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Real Madrid's 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund in Saturday's final capped off a season to remember in the UEFA Champions League, which was full of dramatic moments and breakout talents at every stage of the competition.

The champions' dominance in Europe may come as little surprise, but their squad refresh, and embrace of the game's new stars like Vinicius Junior and Jude Bellingham reflected the emergence of a new generation of players that includes the likes of Kylian Mbappe, who might be on his way to join them, and Erling Haaland. They frequently emerged as the best of the best regardless of the occasion, but the excitement around them was matched by an uber-competitiveness that led to some memorable matches.

From Bayern Munich's 4-3 win over Manchester United on Matchday 1 to a batch of quarterfinal matches that included several comebacks, several games came down to the final minutes. The Champions League ultimately delivered a huge number of edge-of-your-seat matchups that will hopefully be followed up by an even more entertaining season in a few months' time.

As Real Madrid take their latest victory lap, here's a look back at the most noteworthy events of the season that was.

Provedel makes history

The group stage kicked off with one of the most unexpected goals in the tournament's recent history -- a last-gasp equalizer from a goalkeeper. Lazio's Ivan Provedel became just the second goalkeeper to score in open play in the Champions League, going up for a corner and lightly flicked the ball in the right direction with his head after Luis Alberto's skilled cross into the box. His goal ensured the game with Atletico Madrid would end 1-1, helping them as to a second place finish in the group.

Bayern Munich 4, Manchester United 3

There were several chaotically entertaining matches during this season, but the first of many came courtesy of Bayern Munich and Manchester United. The teams exchanged seven goals in an unmissable game, two of those goals coming from errors made by United goalkeeper Andre Onana. He later apologized for those mistakes, but it was just the first sign of the disarray the Red Devils would exemplify all season long.

An honorable mention has to go to United's other 4-3 loss before they clinched a last place finish in Group A, which came at Copenhagen. The added drama of that match came from Marcus Rashford's 42nd minute red card, but Erik ten Hag's team still squandered an opportunity to come out of that game with a point by conceding two late goals. It was not just a season to forget for United -- it was also one that seriously raised questions about the direction of their never-ending rebuild that began 11 years ago with Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.

Bellingham's star is born

Jude Bellingham was easily the breakout star of the season, recording three goals and four assists in his first Champions League season with Real Madrid. The 20-year-old wasted no time lighting up Europe by scoring the lone goal in the team's opener against Union Berlin, but he started to showcase that he was the real deal with a goal and an assist in their 3-2 win over Napoli on Matchday 2.

His form never dipped even as he transitioned to a deeper position on the field, capping off this season as one of the best players in the world. Bellingham exemplified a season that was essentially the changing of the guard at the elite levels of the game, with several younger players filling in the star-studded gaps left by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Englishman arguably led the pack but as long as the likes of Vinicius Junior, Kylian Mbappe and more keep up the good work, the sport is in very good hands.

PSG's comeback in Barcelona

This tie was hard to predict at first because of the uncertainty around both teams, with the impending departures of Xavi and Kylian Mbappe from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively, but the former came out on top in the first leg with a 3-2 win. They looked on their way to the semifinals after Raphina gave them a 1-0 lead just 12 minutes into the return leg in Barcelona, but Ronald Araujo's red card after half an hour led to their ultimate collapse. PSG scored four unanswered goals to win the tie 6-4, clinching a spot in the final four in the process.

Though Mbappe scored twice in the second leg, the story of PSG's come-from-behind win was that they did not rely on the star to get there. Ex-Barcelona player Ousmane Dembele scored twice in the tie, as did Vitinha, while younger talents like Warren Zaire-Emery and Bradley Barcola begin to make a case for themselves as first team starters. The result inspires confidence that PSG have the foundation in the place to survive without Mbappe, who has now officially ended his seven year spell in the French capital.

Real Madrid 3, Manchester City 3

The round of 16 came and went with little to discuss, but the quarterfinals began in fine form with a high-profile matchup that did not disappoint. The first leg of the tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City was one of the most memorable games in recent Champions League history, with the action beginning as soon as Bernardo Silva's second minute goal. Real Madrid were up 2-1 by the 14th minute thanks to a Ruben Dias own goal and a strike from Rodrygo, while three second half goals kept the excitement levels high. Several goals from the match are contenders for the best of the season, but Josko Gvardiol's 71st minute strike might be the best of them all.

It set up for a second leg that may have had fewer goals but had plenty of layers of intrigue. The teams tied 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium and Real Madrid won the subsequent penalty shootout as the series began to show the two sides of the Spanish champions -- try an all-out attacking style first, and if that does not work, absorb the opponent's pressure until a goalscoring moment comes. For Real Madrid, it almost always does.

Dortmund turn it around against Atleti

In another dramatic quarterfinal tie, Borussia Dortmund began to showcase their mettle in their triumph over Atletico Madrid. The German side did not make it easy for themselves, going down 2-0 early on in the first leg after some defensive errors. Sebastien Haller's goal late in the first leg was the perfect foundation for Dortmund to mount the comeback at home, which they did in dramatic fashion. They scored two early goals in the second leg, only to concede twice but respond again with another pair of goals shortly after Atleti felt like they had created a cushion.

This was an impressive moment in Dortmund's journey to the final, but far from the only one in which they succeeded at the top levels of the game. They topped a group with PSG, AC Milan and Newcastle en route to Wembley Stadium, and then beat PSG again in the semifinals to play in their first final in 11 years. Their Cinderella run was full of surprising moments, few as enjoyable as their quarterfinal turnaround.

Toni Kroos' masterclass in Munich

In one of his final Champions League matches, Toni Kroos was the standout in Real Madrid's 2-2 draw at Bayern Munich in the first leg of the semifinals. The 34-year-old, who will retire after competing with Germany in the Euros this summer, did not miss a beat even as Bayern dominated the early stretches of the match and carefully curated the game's first goal with a stellar pass to Vinicius Junior on Real Madrid's first shot of the game. He went on to have a near-perfect game in midfield, completing all but three of his 82 passes in the center of the park.

This game was a reminder of Kroos' status as one of his generation's greatest midfielders, whose form has not dipped even as he neared retirement. He offered one final reminder in the Champions League final, assisting the game's opening goal as Dani Carvajal scored in the 74th minute.

Vinicius Junior leads the way

Real Madrid's strategy of patience paid off once again in London, with two late goals ensuring they would win their 15th Champions League title on Saturday. While Carvajal scored the first, Vinicius Junior's strike nine minutes later sealed the deal for the kings of Europe. It was the second time the Brazil international scored in the final, notching the game's lone goal in 2022 to collect his first Champions League winners' medal.

It is hard to single out just one person on a star-studded team like Madrid, but if there's any one player who is worthy, it just might be Vinicius Junior. He closed out the season with six goals in the Champions League, finding a way to deliver on his team's best and worst days and developing the one trait that's crucial in a goalscorer -- reliability. That includes an ability to showcase his talents in the biggest games, demonstrating all the makings of a player Thierry Henry has described as the greatest in the world. At just 23 years old, he will be key as Real Madrid aim to extend their dominance for another several years -- and that's with or without Mbappe, who is most certainly going to become his teammate in a few weeks' time.