Just in few hours in the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine it will be the final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Two clubs that had the most European Cup trophy for their respective country where Real Madrid had 12 trophies with Liverpool 5, however, when comes to overall Real Madrid is the king of the European competition and had a historic tradition on this competition. They had won it 5 consecutive times on the first 5 edition of the competition starting from 1955 until 1960 with 1960 had been hailed as one of the best performance by a team in the final when they had trashed Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 with their star player Puskas and Di Stefano each had scored hattrick where Puskas scored 4 and Di Stefano 3 goals. Real Madrid is the only European team that had 2 original trophies with them. Liverpool meanwhile had become the first English club to lift the trophy in 2 consecutive times in 1977 and 1978 and when they had lifted the trophy in 1984 they had become the second team behind Real Madrid to win the most European trophy with 4 trophies before that position had been overtaken by AC Milan with 7 trophies. Both teams had a great fan following and both teams had a rich European heritage.
Speaking for today’s final Real Madrid will set some new record if they had won as they will become the first team since Bayern Munich in 1976 to lift the European trophy 3 consecutive times and Zidane will emulate Bob Paisley record of lifting 3 European trophies with some team and the first manager to lift 3 European competition consecutively with some team as no manager had achieved this feat before. Liverpool had become the attractive and high pressing team under the manager Jurgen Klopp since he had taken over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015. With the attacking trio of Sane, Mohammad Salah, and Fiminho, Liverpool had a scoring goal for fun in the Premier League and in the UEFA Champion League too. If Jurgen Klopp had lifted the European trophy with Liverpool, he will become the second foreign manager to lift the trophy for Liverpool after Rafa Benitez in 2005, and it also will become its first trophy with Liverpool.
For the performance en route to the final, Liverpool had been in excellent form as they scored 23 goals and topped their group. On the second-round knockout stages, they had decimated FC Porto 5-0 in Portugal while drew blank at Anfield in the return leg. In the quarter-final stages, in an all English quarter-final, they had defeated the Premier League champion 3-0 in Anfield before beating them again 2-1 in City and in the semifinal they had been cruising with the 5-0 lead against AS Roma before AS Roma struck 2 late goals to make the tie alive. In the return leg in Rome, AS Roma nearly bring the game to the extra time with a 4-2 win, however, Liverpool had won the tie and progress to their first European Cup final in 11 years as the last they had been in the final is in 2007.
Meanwhile, for the defending champion Real Madrid, they only become runner-up of their group that had Tottenham Hotspur, Borrusia Dortmund, and APOEL FC. In the knockout stages, they had met the French champion Paris Saint Germain with Neymar in the team. In the first leg in Madrid, they had won 3-1 and completing the job in Paris with a 2-1 win. In the quarter-final against the Italian Champion Juventus, they had beaten them comprehensively in Turin with 3-0 scoreline with Christiano Ronaldo scored a terrific bicycle kick goal that had earned him the applause of Juventus fan. In the return leg in Madrid, Juventus had taken a 3-0 lead before a last-minute penalty from Christiano Ronaldo had made them progress to the semi-final. Against Bayern Munich the German champion, they had beaten them 2-1 in German and drew 2-2 with them in return leg in Madrid.
Before this season final appearance, Real Madrid had been in 14 final and lost twice to Benfica in 1962 and Liverpool in 1981. Liverpool meanwhile had been in 7 final where they also had lost twice too first against Juventus in 1985 and with AC Milan in 2007. Both teams have a great record in the final. Speaking on the manager final record, Zidane had been 2 finals in 2016 and 2017 and winning both of team while Jurgen Klopp also had guided his team to 2 European final first for Borrusia Dortmund in 2013 where they had been beaten by Bayern Munich in the final and second for Liverpool against Sevilla in UEFA Europa League final in 2015 where he had been beaten in that final too. So Klopp does not have a great record in the European Cup final. However Real Madrid does not have a great record where they had a meeting with an English or British team in the final where they meet them 3 times first against Chelsea in the Cup Winners Cup final in 1971, Liverpool in 1981 and Aberdeen in 1983 in Cup Winners Cup final and lost all the finals.
Both team key player, Mohammad Salah for Liverpool and Christiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid had been creating records in this season where Mohammad Salah had broken the Premier League top goalscorer by scoring 32 goals and scoring 43 goals overall making him the second highest Liverpool goalscorer in a single season behind Ian Rush. Christiano Ronaldo meanwhile had scored in all 6 group stages games making him the first player to achieve this feat and continue scoring goals in second round knockout stages and in the quarter-final making him scoring in 10 consecutive games a record too. His goal scoring feat had been stopped in the semi-final against Bayern Munich but it will take a big task from Liverpool to stop him scoring again against them in the final.
Speaking of defending, both team is not great with their defending as Real Madrid had conceded double figure in the knockout stages and so to Liverpool. They had the best attacking trio in the world but in term of defending, they are not at their best although Real Madrid is better in this department than Liverpool. Both defenses will have a hard time to keep a clean sheet with their attacking trio and it will be a shocking result if both drew blank in the final.
In the just few hours , will Zidane became the first manager to lift the trophy in 3 consecutive times , will Real Madrid become the first team since Bayern Munich to lift the trophy 3 consecutive times, will Ronaldo become the second man after Gento to have the most European cup medal, will Jurgen Klopp finally winning his first trophy with Liverpool and his first final , will Liverpool become the 6 time European champion , and will the game will an entertaining game or a drab affair . The answer will be known in the just a few hours.
My prediction for these games meanwhile is Real winning with the 3-1 scoreline.