Special Real Madrid-Liverpool: a final for history in Paris

The most complete analysis of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Together they add 19 titles.

Difficult to have a Champions League final with more history. Real Madrid and Liverpool meet at the Stade de France next Saturday May 28 to fight for the ‘Orejona’. There are 19 cups between them and an endless cast of talented players for a game from which only good things are expected. Benzema, Salah, Vinicius, Mané, Alaba, Van Dijk, Courtois or Ederson are some of the many talents that will be on the pitch. Great football accompanied by an even better atmosphere, which will be provided by the 81,338 fans who will be lucky enough to enter the stadium. Paris has put on a gala to welcome the thousands of Real Madrid and Reds fans who will be in the French capital.

It is also a revenge for Liverpool of that infamous 2018 final in the northern English city. It was in kyiv and featured Karius, who gave the Whites two goals and conceded one of the most beautiful goals in the competition’s history: a Chilean by Bale that slipped through the top corner. Much of that roster is still around and will try to hit back five years later. Several Madrid players also repeat, including Benzema, who scored one of the goals.

However, there are many others who will play their first final. They are less in Liverpool, which has kept the bulk of the eleven in recent years. Diego Jota, Luis Díaz and Konaté are some of those who have joined later. They are more in Madrid, which has supported a large part of its project in young people. Vinicius, Rodrygo, Valverde or Militao have the opportunity to lift their first Champions League.

Alexander Arnold Vinicius

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Madrid: the Champions League of miracles did not start well

The white team has lived this edition suffering. The group stage was relatively quiet apart from the problems that Inter raised, especially at the San Siro. However, there was a tough defeat against the unknown Sheriff that could negatively mark the season. Quite the opposite: the team was able to recover and get through the round one day before the end of it.

In eighths, the comebacks began. PSG was master of the tie for 90 minutes in Paris and 60 at the Bernabéu. It was then when Madrid showed that it’s not enough just to ‘kill him’, but that you have to ‘finish him off’. Three goals from Benzema in a matter of 15 minutes turned the key around and the Whites qualified. In the quarterfinals, against Chelsea, it seemed that everything was going to end with the 1-3 achieved in the first leg at Stamford Bridge. Nothing could be further from the truth, Tuchel’s men went 0-4 showing an overwhelming superiority. When everything seemed lost, Modric assisted Rodrygo to force extra time and, in it, Vinicius did the same with Karim to come back.

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Finally, in the semi-finals against City, the 4-3 win in Manchester, where the rival was to overcome, left part of the work to the Bernabéu. Mahrez’s goal in the final stretch closed the door almost permanently, but the magic of that stadium seems never to end. Two goals from Rodrygo in three minutes forced everything to be defined in 30 extra minutes. Vini forced a penalty and Benzema executed Guardiola’s men to reach the final.

Liverpool: to the final based on blows

Although in some sections of the competition Klopp’s team has been in a hurry, it can be said without fear of being wrong that it has been the team that has shown the greatest superiority over its rivals, starting with the group stage. Despite being in the group of death along with Atlético, Porto and Milan, he overwhelmed all his rivals: six victories in six days with 17 goals for and only six against. Difficult to make a better first phase.

In the knockout phase, the dynamic followed by the reds has been similar in all rounds. It was based on leaving the crossing solved in the first leg. This has caused him to fall into relaxation during the laps, but whenever he has pushed, he has shown that he could finish anyone. Against Inter, he arrived at Anfield after winning 0-2 at the San Siro. Despite the help of their public, those of Inzaghi put them in a bind. 0-1 that left everything open until the end. In the quarterfinals, with Benfica, the result in Lisbon was 1-3. On this occasion, at home and half throttle, they went 3-1, although the Portuguese pressed at the end to equal three. Finally, in the semifinal they had to play the first game at home, where they got 2-0. Emery’s men, in the second leg, managed to level the tie and Liverpool found themselves in a situation they hadn’t experienced before. It was not a problem: they came from behind to make it 2-3 and show that their immaculate Champions League deserved a final.

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Star duel: Benzema vs. Salah

If we talk about Real Madrid and Liverpool we talk about Benzema and Salah. Two of the best players today face to face with a Champions at stake. In addition, after the changes in the Ballon d’Or, the achievement of the maximum continental tournament can be decisive to win the title. One more incentive for both to give the maximum. Paris will crown the best.

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The first lives the best season of his career. Since Cristiano’s departure, he had assumed Madrid’s offensive leadership, but never performing at a level like this season, especially in front of goal. There are 44 goals in 45 games, in addition to 15 assists. His key presence in LaLiga and even more important in the Champions League, in which he is the highest scorer with 15 goals. His hat-tricks against PSG or Chelsea, as well as scoring the decisive goal in all the knockout ties since the round of 16, make him the best player of this edition.

The Egyptian has had to experience the disappointment of losing the Africa Cup in the final and losing to Senegal in qualifying for the World Cup. But in his team, under Klopp’s orders, his level is still superlative. He has 31 goals and 15 assists for his team this season, one more, showing that he is a tremendously regular footballer. As if that were not enough, Salah has assured that he is motivated by the possibility of having a rematch against Madrid. It should be remembered that he had to be replaced in the first minutes of the 2018 season due to a shoulder injury.

Klopp Ancelotti

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Klopp: charisma and electricity

They say that teams look like their leaders and in this case, in Liverpool, the phrase could not be truer. Jürgen Klopp is a guy energetic, charismatic and hyperactive and his team is exactly the same. A team cheerful, upright and fearless: they only think about translating each play into a goal. Getting bored with Klopp’s Liverpool is absolutely impossible.

Since he arrived at the English team in 2015, he has been burning stages until he has achieved the goal of installing Liverpool back in the place it deserves: among the best in Europe. He has won a Champions League, a Premier, an FA Cup, a Carabao Cup, a European Super Cup and a Club World Cup. Also, this will be the third Champions League final that they dispute with the Germanhaving won one and lost the other, precisely against Real Madrid.

Ancelotti: calm and experience

Carlo Ancelotti, on the other hand, has stood out for being a man capable of appear calm in situations that would have anyone else going up the wall. Surely a large part of his success lies in his way of remaining calm in all situations. Anybody else would have gone absolutely crazy over Sergio Ramos’ goal in Lisbon and he barely batted an eye.

As with Klopp and Liverpool, Real Madrid resemble Ancelotti in that both are capable of keep a cool head in times of high stress. Perhaps that is why the whites have achieved incredible comebacks this season that have taken them to Paris.

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Real Madrid with Ancelotti has reached its best football moments in the last decade, both in the first stage and in the second. Ancelotti does not bet on being as vertical as Mourinho was, he bets more on a style more of control and of having a forceful defensive block, while yes, obviously, Real Madrid, due to their way of understanding football, will always be a vertical team. Another key to his team is a high pressure that prevents the rival from leaving with the ball in a comfortable way.

Trent Alexander-Arnold Vinicius Junior Liverpool Real Madrid Champions League GFX


Vinicius vs. Alexander Arnold: young people in power

Madrid’s left wing, Liverpool’s right, will experience a duel that, if all goes according to plan, will be one of the most recurrent and most talented of the next decade. Vinícius challenges Alexander-Arnold for the second time in recent years. The quality and overflow of the Brazilian against the intensity and speed of the English. Two young people who are already benchmarks in their teams and world stars.

Vini arrived at Madrid with the pressure of having cost 40 million without having debuted in the Brasileirao. His first steps were at Castilla and he soon knocked on the doors of the first team. However, his lack of success in front of goal and some of his decisions did not convince part of the Bernabéu. All this has changed this season, in which at 21 years old he has experienced a record maturation process. Not only has he improved in his definition and, therefore, in his figures (21 goals and 20 assists), but he has assumed a leadership that, due to his age, did not have to correspond to him. The one from Sao Gonçalo has that winning character and hard work that makes people fall in love so much at the Bernabéu.

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Trent is one of the biggest talents to come out of English football this century, and he showed it in his early years. In 2016/2017, at 18, he began to make a name for himself in the first team, but it was in 2017/2018 that his unstoppable progression made him the undisputed starter. Without having turned 20, he finished the season with 34 games, one of them, the Champions League final in kyiv against Madrid. In defense he is remarkable, but it is in attack when he makes the difference. He has a glove on his right foot, which has already provided 62 assists in 225 games for the Reds. He handles set pieces, one of the English’s most dangerous weapons. If Madrid wants to have control of the game, he must tie the side short.

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