FC Barcelona and Real Madrid may be bitter rivals to the end, but veteran Barcelona defender Dani Alves knows when to give credit where it is due. In comments that will shock some of the most loyal Culers, Alves admitted that Real Madrid's stunning comeback against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals is well deserved.

The English side won the first leg of the tie 4-3 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester last week. The narrow advantage proved to be too little, even though City scored first in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu at the return leg on Wednesday.

At the 180th minute of the 2-legged tie, City were 5-3 ahead. However, in a plot twist that only Real Madrid can pull off, Rodrygo Goes scored twice in the 90th and 91st minute of the second leg to force extra time. After that, a Karim Benzema penalty sealed the deal in the opening minutes of extra time.

To say that it was a miracle is an understatement, but the same squad has pulled off similar feats against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea FC this season alone. Many have been calling it "luck" but Alves has a different opinion.

The Barcelona veteran, who returned to the Camp Nou this season, shared his take on the result. "Football, friends. This is what it's like in life. In football, luck doesn't exist. If you dominate in the play or if you are dominated," he said as quoted by Football Espana.

He then went on to praise fellow Brazilian Rodrygo, who has been a revelation for Real Madrid this season. "Ah, what would football be like without Brazilians!" said Alves.

It had been a hard-fought path to the final for Real Madrid, who had clawed back from seemingly dire situations throughout the course of the season. The 13-time European Chaampions will face Liverpool FC in Paris on May 28.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema scored the winner as Real Madrid fought back to reach the Champions League final AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU