Liverpool out to end Real hegemony in Champions League final

26 May 2018, 12:05 | Kristine Mills

Real Madrid take on Liverpool in the Champions League final. Credit AFP CHRISTOF STACHE

Real Madrid take on Liverpool in the Champions League final

The Reds became only the third team to score 40 goals within a single season in the Champions League after their two goals in Rome in the semi-final second leg, after Barcelona (45 in 1999-00) and Real Madrid (41 in 2013-14). "He is so calm, a man down to earth". No wonder Salah is making the most of his newly-elevated status in the global game.

Liverpool fans can proudly say that they have their front three in the top five goal scorers of the tournament, with Salah and Firmino bagging 10 each and Sadio Mane with a handy nine goals, while Real Madrid has only one player in the top five, with Cristiano Ronaldo (15 goals).

"Flights chartered by Worldchoice Sports had been set to take supporters to Ukraine, but a dispute between the Widnes-based travel company and the aviation authorities in Kiev over the size of the aircraft has led to the trips being cancelled", said a statement on the club's website.

Salah never settled and was eventually discarded by the west London club after only 13 appearances under Jose Mourinho.

But while the majority of his Liverpool teammates will begin preparations for Russian Federation 2018 following the Champions League final, Wijnaldum is faced with two worldwide friendlies with the Dutch before an extended summer break in the wake of his country's failure to make it to the finals. So potent is the 33-year-old Ronaldo, he only required 43 games.

"He's the best", Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said of Ronaldo, "and he proves it every year".

But no matter who plays, Ronaldo and Ramos are the two big game players that fans of Los Blancos will be looking towards, to turn this tide into their favor. Their La Liga campaign was a disaster and the same outcome was predicted during the knockout stages of the Champions League, but this Real outfit have shown a different face and different hunger in the UCL. This club has it in its DNA that it can really go for the big things. "I love that side of it because it motivates me a lot".

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Liverpool's pressing can create problems for Madrid but they have to be very careful about the fact that their opponents can open up their defence within a blink of an eye.

But Madrid regressed in La Liga, surrendering its title with a third-place finish.

This time, under Klopp, their adventure started against Hoffenheim in the play-offs last August, on through stunning wins over Manchester City and Roma via a 3-3 draw in Seville when they had been three goals up.

"I'm sure one will turn up", he said.

"I know how I lost the finals, it didn't change my life", said Klopp, a two-time Bundesliga champion with Dortmund.

"I don't think the size of that achievement was really capitalised on", he added. "That was a big chance'".

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