Real Madrid and Liverpool – 17 titles between them – lock horns in 2018 Champions League final as Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah and a glittering support cast vie for supremacy on the grandest stage in the club game.
To Liverpool’s Juergen Klopp, Saturday’s much-anticipated Champions League final will rest on whether Real Madrid’s drive to win their third successive title outstrips Liverpool’s desire for their first since 2005.”They will want to do it again. It would be big 100 percent. If we did it, it would be big, too. We will try,” said Liverpool’s manager with an understatement at odds with his belief that his team will succeed.
The narrative of young pretenders challenging the established order appeals to Klopp, who made his name taking aim at Bayern Munich with Borussia Dortmund, but Liverpool are hardly ingenues when it comes to winning European titles.
Victory on Saturday would bring their sixth European Cup and reinforce their status as by far England’s most successful team in the competition.
But the English side are unlikely to have it their own way against the serial winners from Spain.
Another triumph would make Real the fourth team to claim three successive European crowns – and the only ones to do it twice – while Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to become the first player in the Champions League era to win five titles, four with Real.
Already the tournament’s record scorer, the five-times Ballon d’Or winner netted in every Champions League game this season before twice missing out in the 4-3 semi-final aggregate triumph over Bayern Munich.
Champions League Final Teams
REAL MADRID: Navas, Casilla, Luca, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Theo, Vallejo, Achraf, Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Asensio, Isco, Ceballos, Llorente, Kovacic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Lucas Vazquez, Mayoral.
LIVERPOOL: Karius, Clyne, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Firmino, Salah, Henderson, Klavan, Moreno, Mane, Lallana, Mignolet, Can, Robertson, Ings, Solanke, Phillips, Jones, Ward, Woodburn, Camacho, Alexander-Arnold.