Most famous names meet Uefa Champions: Real Madrid vs Liverpool

 Most famous names meet Uefa Champions: Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Two of European club football’s most famous names will meet at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium as Real Madrid CF look to lift the Uefa Champions League trophy for the 13th time – and the third season in a row – by overcoming a Liverpool FC side in a first final for 11 years and seeking their sixth European Cup overall.Victory in Kyiv would make Real Madrid the fourth team to claim three successive European crowns – and the first to do it twice, following their victories in the first five European Cup finals between 1956 and 1960. AFC Ajax (1971–73) and FC Bayern München (1974–76) are the only other clubs to have lifted the trophy three years running.

Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane could also become the first coach to win three European Cups in a row, having become the first to win the Uefa Champions League in consecutive seasons in 2017.

Success in Kyiv would make it five Uefa Champions League triumphs for the competition’s record goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo – another first. Ronaldo would become only the fifth player to appear in five European Cup final victories, and the first in the Uefa Champions League era, should he feature and Madrid triumph; the other four players are Madrid trio Paco Gento (the only player to appear in six final victories), Alfredo Di Stéfano and José María Zárraga, plus AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini.

The fixture is a repeat of the 1981 European Cup final, won 1-0 by Liverpool in Paris to give them a third triumph in the competition in five years. That was Madrid’s last defeat in the final of this competition.

That 1981 victory is also the only time an English club has prevailed against Spanish opposition in a European Cup final. Liga clubs have won the other three meetings, FC Barcelona beating Arsenal FC 2-1 in 2006 and Manchester United FC in both 2009 (2-0) and 2011 (3-1).

This is the ninth time two clubs have met for a second time in the European Cup final – and the third season in a row, after Real Madrid’s 2016 win against Club Atlético de Madrid, beaten by their neighbours in the 2014 final, and last year’s defeat of Juventus, who had also succumbed to the Merengues in 1998. This is Madrid’s fourth final rematch, and they have won all three previous such encounters; they also beat Stade de Reims in 1956 and 1959.

Previous Meetings

The sides have met on five previous occasions, all in the European Cup, with Liverpool winning three of those fixtures and Madrid two. The English club have scored six goals; Madrid have managed four.

The teams last crossed paths in the 2014-15 group stage, Madrid winning both games with Karim Benzema scoring twice and Ronaldo once in the first, a 3-0 away win.

The full line-ups at Anfield on 22 October 2014 were:

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Lovren, Škrtel, Moreno, Gerrard, Henderson (Can 67), Allen, Sterling, Coutinho (Markovic 68), Balotelli (Lallana 46).

Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Varane, Pepe, Marcelo (Nacho 85), Modric, Kroos (Illarramendi 81), Isco, James Rodríguez, Benzema, Ronaldo (Khedira 75).

Benzema got the only goal as Madrid won 1-0 in Spain two weeks later.

At the Santiago Bernabéu on 4 November 2014, the sides were:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa (Nacho 83), Varane, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Kroos, Isco, James Rodríguez (Bale 62), Benzema (Hernández 87), Ronaldo.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Manquillo, Škrtel, Touré, Moreno, Lucas (Gerrard 69), Can (Coutinho 75), Allen, Lallana, Markovic (Sterling 69), Borini.

Liverpool beat Madrid 5-0 on aggregate in the 2008-09 round of 16. Rafael Benítez’s Reds won the first leg 1-0 in Spain, Yossi Benayoun getting the only goal with eight minutes left.

The line-ups at the Bernabéu on 25 February 2009 were:

Real Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Cannavaro, Heinze, Robben, Gago, Diarra, Marcelo (Guti 46), Higuaín, Raúl.

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Škrtel, Carragher, Fábio Aurélio, Benayoun, Alonso, Mascherano, Riera (Gerrard 88),Torres (Babel 62), Kuyt (Lucas 90).

Liverpool completed a comfortable aggregate victory with a 4-0 success back on Merseyside – Madrid’s biggest Uefa Champions League defeat – thanks to two Steven Gerrard goals (28pen, 47) and further strikes from Fernando Torres (16) and Andrea Dossena (88).

The sides at Anfield on 10 March 2009 were:

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Škrtel, Carragher, Fábio Aurélio, Mascherano, Alonso (Lucas 60), Gerrard (Spearing 73), Babel, Kuyt, Torres (Dossena 84).

Real Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Pepe, Cannavaro (Van der Vaart 64), Heinze, L Diarra, Gago (Guti 77), Sneijder, Robben (Marcelo 46), Raúl, Higuaín.

Álvaro Arbeloa, a member of Madrid’s victorious squads in 2013-14 and 2015-16 although he did not appear in either final, and Xabi Alonso, who was in Madrid’s squad in 2013-14 but also sat out the final, were in the Liverpool side for both matches.

Bob Paisley’s Liverpool also beat Madrid, coached by Vujadin Boškov, 1-0 in the 1981 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final in Paris, Alan Kennedy scoring the only goal nine minutes from time.

The teams on 27 May 1981 at the Parc des Princes were:

Liverpool: Clemence, Neal, Thompson, Hansen, A Kennedy, R Kennedy, Lee, McDermott, Souness, Johnson, Dalglish (Case 85).

Real Madrid: Agustín, García Cortés (Pineda 85), Camacho, Stielike, Sabido, Del Bosque, Juanito, Ángel, Santillana, García Navajas, Cunningham.

Final pedigree

Real Madrid

Madrid have won a record 12 European Cups, and have triumphed in their last six finals. Overall their final record is

W12 L3:

1955-56: Real Madrid 4-3 Stade de Reims Champagne

1956-57: Real Madrid 2-0 ACF Fiorentina

1957-58: Real Madrid 3-2 AC Milan (aet)

1958-59: Real Madrid 2-0 Stade de Reims Champagne

1959-60: Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

1961-62: SL Benfica 5-3 Real Madrid

1963-64: FC Internazionale Milano 3-1 Real Madrid

1965-66: Real Madrid 2-1 FK Partizan

1980-81: Liverpool FC 1-0 Real Madrid

1997-98: Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus

1999-00: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia CF

2001-02: Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

2013-14: Real Madrid 4-1 Club Atlético Madrid (aet)

2015-16: Real Madrid 1-1 Club Atlético Madrid (aet; Real Madrid win 5-3 on penalties)

2016-17: Real Madrid 4-1 Juventus

Last season, Madrid became the first side to make a successful Uefa Champions League title defence. They were the fifth reigning champions to return to the Uefa Champions League final the following season, and the first team to retain the European Cup since Milan (1989, 1990).

Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals against Juventus made him the first player to score in three Uefa Champions League finals, following his goals in 2008, for Manchester United FC, and 2014.

Sergio Ramos, who found the net against Atlético in both 2014 and 2016, could join Ronaldo in scoring in three finals. Ramos is one of five players to have scored in two finals, along with Raúl González (2000, 2002), Samuel Eto’o (2006, 2009), Lionel Messi (2009, 2011) and Mario Mandžukic (2013, 2017). Marcelo and Gareth Bale – who both netted in 2014 – and Marco Asensio and Casemiro, on target 12 months ago, could all join that list in Kyiv.

Ramos, Ronaldo, Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo and Isco could all appear in their fourth Uefa Champions League final victory for Madrid.

In addition to those eight, Raphaël Varane appeared in the 2014 and 2017 finals while Keylor Navas, Toni Kroos and Casemiro all featured in 2016 and 2017. Lucas Vázquez came on as a substitute in 2016, as did Asensio last year; Kiko Casilla and Nacho have been unused replacements in each of the last two finals, with Mateo Kovacic on the bench in 2017.

Madrid are the first team to reach three successive Uefa Champions League finals since Juventus between 1996 and 1998 – the Bianconeri won only one of those matches.

Madrid’s triumph in Cardiff in 2017 was the tenth Uefa Champions League win for a Spanish side – twice as many as the next highest-ranked nation, Italy. England are on four triumphs, with Germany (three) the only other country to have recorded multiple victories.

This is Madrid’s 31st Uefa final. In addition to their 15 European Cup appearances, they were Uefa Cup winners in 1985 and 1986 and European Cup Winners’ Cup runners-up in 1971 and 1983. They lifted the Uefa Super Cup in 2002, 2014, 2016 and 2017 having lost in 1998 and 2000, and won the European/South American Cup in 1960, 1998 and 2002, losing in 1966 and 2000.

The Reds have won five of their seven previous European Cup finals:

1976-77: Liverpool 3-1 VfL Borussia Monchengladbach

1977-78: Liverpool 1-0 Club Brugge KV

1980-81: Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid CF

1983-84: Liverpool 1-1 AS Roma (aet; Liverpool win 4-2 on penalties)

1984-85: Juventus 1-0 Liverpool

2004-05: Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (aet; Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties)

2006-07: AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool

This is Liverpool’s 20th Uefa final. In addition to their seven European Cup appearances, they are three-time winners of the Uefa Cup/Uefa Europa League (1973, 1976, 2001), losing the 2016 final, and won the Uefa Super Cup in 1977, 2001 and 2005, losing in 1978 and 1984. They also lost in the 1965-66 European Cup Winners’ Cup final, and the 1981 and 1984 European/South American Cup.

No members of Liverpool’s squad have previously played in a Uefa Champions League final.

The Reds’ last European final was a 3-1 loss against another Spanish side, Sevilla FC, in Basle in the 2015-16 Uefa Europa League. Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, James Milner, Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino all started that match at St. Jakob-Park; Jordan Henderson was an unused substitute.

Liverpool’s only other final against Spanish opposition was a 5-4 golden-goal success against Deportivo Alavés in the 2001 Uefa Cup in Dortmund. Their record in Uefa finals against Spanish opposition is therefore W2 L1.

Match Background

Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s record in Kyiv is P4 W1 D2 L1 F6 A7, all four games coming in the Uefa Champions League against FC Dynamo Kyiv. Their last two trips both ended 2-2 in the group stage in November 2004 – a game in which Zidane played – and 2006. They lost 2-0 on their first visit in the 1998-99 quarterfinals, a young Andriy Shevchenko scoring both goals, before a 2-1 second group stage win the following season, Fernando Morientes and Raúl on target.

Madrid’s European season started with a victory against Premier League opposition, 2-1 against Manchester United FC in the Uefa Super Cup in Skopje on 8 August. They drew 1-1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur FC on matchday three, but a 12-match unbeaten run (W8 D4) against English opposition was ended by a 3-1 loss in the reverse fixture on 1 November. That was Madrid’s first defeat against a team from England since their 4-0 loss at Liverpool in March


Zidane’s side have scored in their last 29 Uefa matches, their most recent blank coming against English opposition – a goalless draw against Manchester City FC in the 2015-16 Uefa Champions League semifinal first leg.

The Spanish club’s overall record against English sides is W15 D11 L11 F52 A43.

Madrid’s record in this season’s competition is W8 D2 L2 F30 A15. They have kept only three clean sheets in 12 matches, but have found the net in their last 27 Uefa Champions League outings.

Zidane’s charges finished second in Group H this season, collecting 13 points. They beat Paris Saint-Germain 5-2 on aggregate in the round of 16 (3-1 home, 2-1 away).

Madrid reached the last four in drama 5-6 v FK Crvena zvezda, 1974/75 European Cup Winners’ Cup quarterfinal Liverpool

Liverpool’s record in two visits to Kyiv is W1 D1 L0 F3 A2. Danny Murphy and Steven Gerrard struck as a Reds team coached by Phil Thompson, with manager Gérard Houllier absent for health reasons, won 2-1 against Dynamo at the Dynamo Stadium in the 2001/02 Uefa Champions League first group stage. Rafael Benítez’s side then drew 1-1 with Maccabi Haifa FC at the same venue – by that time renamed the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium – in the third quliafying round of the 2006-07 competition, Peter Crouch their scorer to complete a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

The Reds have already faced Spanish opposition this season, drawing home (2-2) and away (3-3) with Sevilla FC; they let slip a 3-0 halftime lead in the second game in Spain.

A 3-0 home win against Villarreal CF in the 2015-16 Uefa Europa League semifinal is Liverpool’s only success in their last seven fixtures against Spanish clubs (D2 L4) – a sequence that includes that 2016 Uefa Europa League final loss to Sevilla.

Overall, the Merseyside club’s record against Spanish sides is W14 D12 L11 F46 A38. They have won only one of their last seven fixtures against Liga clubs outside England – that 2009 success at Real Madrid.

Liverpool’s unbeaten record in this season’s competition was ended by the 4-2 defeat at AS Roma in the semifinal second leg, the Reds progressing 7-6 on aggregate. Their record since matchday one is now W7 D4 L1 F40 A13.

Liverpool finished first in group E this season with 12 points, beating NK Maribor 7-0 away and FC Spartak Moskva by the same scoreline at home. FC Porto were overcome 5-0 in the away first leg and on aggregate in the round of 16, before a 5-1 defeat of Manchester City over the two legs of the quarterfinals (3-0 home, 2-1 away).

Including qualifying, Liverpool have scored 46 goals in 14 games this season, at an average of 3.29 goals per game – surpassing Barcelona’s record of 45 from 1999-2000. Discounting the Reds’ haul of six against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the play-offs they are on 40 goals, behind Real Madrid’s 41 (2013-14), a record for a 13-match season, and Barcelona, who scored 45 in 2002-03 – although Barcelona played 16 games that season. Liverpool’s 12-match average of 3.33 goals per game is higher than that of both sides.

Liverpool’s record in four Uefa penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:

4-5 v Besiktas JK, 2014-15 Uefa Europa League round of 32

4-1 v Chelsea FC, 2006-07 Uefa Champions League semifinal

3-2 v AC Milan, 2004-05 Uefa Champions League final

4-2 v AS Roma, 1983-84 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final

Coach and Player Links

Jürgen Klopp oversaw four games against Madrid as Borussia Dortmund coach in 2012-13. After a 2-1 win in Germany and 2-2 draw in Spain in the group stage, the teams met again in the semifinals, Dortmund going through despite a 2-0 away second-leg defeat having won 4-1 at home, Robert Lewandowski scoring all four of the Bundesliga side’s goals. Ronaldo, in the first leg, and Karim Benzema and Ramos, in the second, scored for Madrid.

The following season Madrid ousted Klopp’s Dortmund in the quarterfinals, goals from Bale, Isco and Ronaldo securing a 3-0 first-leg win at the Bernabéu. The Spanish side held on despite a 2-0 away loss in the return.

Sergio Ramos has already won a major European trophy at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, having featured in Spain’s Uefa Euro 2012 final win against Italy.

Karim Benzema featured as France lost 2-0 to Sweden at the same venue earlier in the group stage of the same tournament, and also played in a 2-2 draw with Ukraine in Uefa Euro 2008 qualifying in 2007.

Dejan Lovren and Luka Modric played for Croatia in a 2-0 Fifa World Cup qualifying win against Ukraine at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in October 2017.

Toni Kroos scored his second international goal, and first from open play, in a 3-3 friendly draw against Ukraine at the NSC Olimpiyskiy in November 2011.

Nacho and Isco started as Spain won 1-0 at the NSC Olimpiyskiy in an October 2015 European qualifier.

Jordan Henderson came off the bench for England in a 0-0 draw with Italy in the Uefa Euro 2012 quarterfinals in Kyiv, his side losing 4-2 on penalties. Injured club-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was an unused substitute.

James Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain had featured in a 3-2 group stage defeat of Sweden in Kyiv at the sametournament, with Henderson staying on the bench.

Milner returned to play in England’s 0-0 World Cup qualifying draw in Ukraine in September 2013.

Mohamed Salah played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy for ACF Fiorentina while on loan from Chelsea FC in a 1-1 2014-15 Uefa Europa League quarterfinal draw.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in nine appearances against Liverpool for Manchester United, winning five, losing three and drawing one.

Modric faced Liverpool eight times with Tottenham Hotspur FC (W5 D1 L2) and scored once, a penalty in a 2-0 victory at Anfield in May 2011.

Gareth Bale’s record against Liverpool with Tottenham was W4 D2 L3. His only goal in nine appearances came in a 2-1 home victory in November 2012.

Moreno faced Real Madrid three times during his time at Sevilla (W1 L2).

International teammates:

Marcelo, Casemiro & Roberto Firmino (Brazil)

Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic & Dejan Lovren (Croatia)

Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Marco Asensio, Isco, Lucas Vázquez & Alberto Moreno (Spain)

Toni Kroos & Emre Can (Germany)

Gareth Bale & Ben Woodburn (Wales)

Match Facts

Real Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo has made 152 appearances in the Uefa Champions League, group stage to final, taking him one above Xavi Hernández. Only Iker Casillas (167) has made more.

Ronaldo’s run of scoring in every game in this season’s competition – a run of ten matches, 11 including last season’s final – ended in the semifinal first leg. He has nevertheless scored 25 goals in his last 17 Uefa Champions League games, and is the sole Madrid player to have played every minute in this season’s competition.

Ronaldo has scored 15 goals in this season’s competition – five more than any other player. He has had 33 shots on target and 33 shots off target, both also competition highs.

Marcelo has scored in all three knockout ties this season; the full-back’s last five Uefa Champions League goals have all come in the knockout rounds.

Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Villarreal CF on 19 May, having been two goals up, meant they finished third in the Liga, three points behind second-placed Club Atlético de Madrid and 17 adrift of champions FC Barcelona.

Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were on target at Villarreal; Ronaldo has scored in his last ten Liga matches – a total of 18 goals – while Bale has eight goals in eight league appearances. Ronaldo finished with 26 goals in this season’s Spanish league, second only to Lionel Messi (34).

Goalkeeper Luca Zidane made his senior Madrid debut at Villarreal.

Madrid have won only one of their last five games in all competitions, drawing three.

Zinédine Zidane’s side have scored two or more goals in each of their last seven fixtures.

The Merengues have kept only one clean sheet in their last 11 games in all competitions.

The 1-0 defeat at RCD Espanyol on 27 February is the last game in which Madrid failed to score, and the only one of their last 28 fixtures in which they failed to find the net; they have scored in their last 17 games.

Nacho has not played since 31 March due to a muscle injury. Dani Carvajal had to be replaced during the semifinal first leg against Bayern with a hamstring injury, returning on 19 May.

Ronaldo picked up an ankle problem in the 2-2 draw at FC Barcelona on 6 May, returning at Villarreal. Isco was out between 25 April and 12 May with a shoulder problem.

Madrid lifted the Fifa Club World Cup for the second year in a row – and the third time in four years – with a 1-0 defeat of Brazil’s Grêmio FBPA on 17 December. Ronaldo scored the winner having also been on target in the 2-1 semifinal win against Al Jazira Club of the UAE.

Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Nacho, Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vázquez have been included in Spain’s provisional Fifa World Cup squad.


The semifinal second leg was Liverpool’s 100th game in the Uefa Champions League, group stage to final. They were the 18th club to reach that landmark, and the fourth from England. Their record is W47 D30 L23.

Liverpool are the top scorers in this season’s Uefa Champions League with 40 goals, also a record for an English club. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino (both ten goals) and Sadio Mané (nine) have contributed 29 of those; only Cristiano Ronaldo, with 15, has scored more goals than the three Liverpool players.

James Milner set a new Uefa Champions League record with his assist in the semifinal first leg – his ninth in this season’s competition.

Liverpool finished fourth in this season’s Premier League, concluding their campaign with a 4-0 win against Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield on 13 May.

Liverpool have failed to score in only five of their last 29 matches in all competitions, most recently the 1-0 loss at Chelsea FC on 6 May.

The Reds have lost two of their last three fixtures, having been beaten in only one of the previous 17 (W11 D5).

Jürgen Klopp’s side have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 20 fixtures.

Salah established a new record for a 38-game Premier League season with 32 goals – including one against Brighton. That ended a run of three games without a goal for the Egyptian, his longest scoreless sequence this season.

Salah has scored 44 club goals in all competitions this season – the highest total for a Liverpool player since Ian Rush’s club record of 47 set in 1983-84.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered knee ligament damage in the semifinal first leg while Emre Can has been sidelined since 17 March with a back injury.

Joël Matip picked up a thigh injury at Crystal Palace FC on 31 March and has not played since. Adam Lallana came on as a substitute at Palace but lasted only five minutes before being replaced due to a hamstring injury; he returned as a substitute against Brighton.

Joe Gomez has been out since 28 April with an ankle problem.

Nathaniel Clyne made his first appearance since 21 May 2017 at Everton FC on 7 April after a long-standing back injury. He went on to make two further league appearances and featured as a late substitute in the Uefa Champions League quarterfinal and semifinal second legs.

On 13 May, Salah was named the Premier League Player of the Season. He was also selected as the Professional Football Association’s Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.

The uncapped Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in England’s squad for this summer’s Fifa World Cup. Jordan Henderson is also involved, with Lallana one of five players on standby.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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