As Real Madrid CF and Atletico Madrid gear up to face each other tonight in the Champions League once again, albeit in semi-finals this time, the memories of their previous encounters will still be fresh.The city rivals have played each other twice in the Champions League before, both being the final and where Real Madrid emerged victorious. While the most recent 2015-16 final was won by Real Madrid on penalties after 1-1 draw in normal and extra time, the 2013-14 final was far more dramatic with Sergio Ramos’ 93rd minute goal ending the game at 1-1 in normal time and then Real Madrid went on to win the game 4-1 in extra time.Real Madrid’s consistent display of spirit:Real Madrid have consistently shown great appetite for late goals and this season particularly, Los Blancos have been one of the best examples of never letting go. 14 times they have scored points from losing or drawing positions (excluding 0-0) towards the end of the game. To top that, they’ve won a game after the 81st minute seven times.Football is loved for its spirit and passion across the world. It is often said that apart from the results, what defines a team is their spirit and passion till the final whistle and Real Madrid have defined themselves this season.Like Zinedine Zidane repeatedly says that at Real Madrid, they hate losing. Los Blancos have shown immense character and fighting spirit throughout the season and that has come to become their identity.advertisementStatistics of Real Madrid’s late surge:Ramos has been the leader of the pack in the truest sense, scoring late goals and rescuing the team at a phenomenal rate but he’s not the only one.Toni Kroos did it in week two of the La Liga 2016-17 against Celta Vigo. Alvaro Morata, Mariano Diaz, Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez have all followed suit and with Marcelo’s 85th minute winner against Valencia on Saturday, he’s joined the party.This season, Real Madrid have won 17 points from the 81st minute on, which is 21 per cent of their points. Also apart from the seven times they’ve won a match after the 81st minute, they have salvaged two draws from losing position in the same period that takes the tally to 9 – a quarter of a season.And of course, who can forget one of the most thrilling Champions League final – the one in 2013-14 season – where Sergio Ramos gave a deadly blow to Atletico Madrid in the 93rd minute, equalising the tie that Real won in extra time eventually.Even though recently Antoine Griezmann scored a late goal in the last Madrid derby in La Liga to snatch a draw and Lionel Messi netted a 93rd minute winner in El Clasico after James Rodriguez had equalised in the 85th minute, the number of times Real Madrid have achieved the feat is brilliant.What Real Madrid’s fighting appetite speaks of:Marcelo, after the match against Valencia, had said, “We had to show who we are; we had to reach for our soul.” It’s almost like Real Madrid become a much more ferocious team when they’re down. And that is a dangerous sign!Considering the Champions League history between the Spanish rivals, it will be interesting to see whose spirit will win the game.