Liverpool v Real madrid: A heavyweight final

Liverpool v Real madrid: A heavyweight final

Liverpool will look to win European club football’s most prestigious prize for the seventh time when they face Real Madrid in a mouth-watering Champions League final in Paris on Saturday.

Up to 60,000 Liverpool fans – many without tickets – are expected in the French capital as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds attempt to seal an FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Champions League treble in their 63rd and final game of 2021-22.

However, Real Madrid are record 13-time winners and their Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti is looking to win the competition for a fourth time – the most by any manager in the tournament’s history – after leading AC Milan (2002-03, 2006-07) and Real (2013-14) to European glory.

Liverpool head into their third Champions League final in five seasons on the back of the disappointment of narrowly losing out to Manchester City in the Premier League title race last weekend.

“We are all in a good mood. If you are healthy, as the boys obviously are, life gives you opportunities again and again and in this case it is the Champions League final,” said Reds boss Klopp.

The German added: “Three finals in five years is exceptional because this competition is really difficult. It is really special. We really want to give it a proper go and we will see.”

While Liverpool are looking to seal a cup treble, Real are attempting a league and European double after being crowned champions of Spain.

By steering Real to a 35th La Liga title last month, Ancelotti became the first manager to win the league in all five of Europe’s major leagues.

“Two great teams will face each other, and the one with more courage and personality will win at the end,” said former Chelsea boss Ancelotti.

The final will be decided on the day with extra time and penalties coming into play if the sides cannot be separated.

Battle of the heavyweights 

Saturday’s eagerly anticipated final brings together two super heavyweights of European football.

While Real Madrid are aiming to win it for a 14th time, which would then be twice as many as any other club, a Liverpool win would take them level with AC Milan (7) in second place on the list of overall champions.

Liverpool’s Senegal forward Sadio Mane and Real Madrid’s France forward Karim Benzema are both in the running to win this year’s coveted Ballon d’Or which is awarded to the world’s best player.

Benzema, 34, has struck 15 goals in Europe this season – including two hat-tricks – and is the Champions League’s leading scorer in 2021-22, while Mane was instrumental in his country’s first Africa Cup of Nations triumph in February.

Mane also helped Senegal qualify for the 2022 World Cup, with the 30-year-old winning two domestic cups with Liverpool this season. Linked with a move away from from the Reds this summer, Mane said he will give a “special” answer over his future after the final.

Source: BBC 

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