Saint-Denis will host the third European Cup final between Real Madrid and Liverpool


Real Madrid will play its fifth Champions League final in the last nine years after performing the umpteenth feat at the Santiago Bernabéu and eliminating Manchester City in the semifinals of the competition, and will face Liverpool, the six-time champion of Europe , also preventing, for the second consecutive year, two English teams from fighting for the title in the final round.

The Stade de France awaits the ‘reds’ and whites, who will face each other in a Champions League final for the third time in history. A duel in Europe that will end with the tie between both teams in the two finals they have already played, the last one just four years ago.

But the first European Cup final between Real Madrid and Liverpool dates back to 1981, 41 years ago, with the Parc des Princes as the setting. The meringues returned to fight for the ‘Orejona’ 25 years later, after winning the sixth trophy of the competition in 1966 against Partizan Belgrade (2-1).

However, the balance tipped on the side of the ‘reds’, who had just won their second Champions League in 1978 and won (1-0) in a tight match that did not settle until the 82nd minute with a goal from Alan Kennedy, to leave Real Madrid with names like García-Cortés, Camacho, Del Bosque, Santillana and Cunningham without a prize. A result that prolonged the bad dynamics of the meringues in Europe, since they did not meet again with their fetish trophy until 1998.

In 2018, Real Madrid, who had lifted the ‘Orejona’ in the two previous editions, was able to avenge the 1981 final in kyiv. Eleven years after falling in the final in Athens against Milan (2-1), the Liverpool also repeated the fight for the maximum continental title. And both teams offered an exciting duel in which the banks prevailed (3-1) by being more accurate in the exchange of blows.

That final will be remembered for the mistake made by the German goalkeeper Loris Karius, who was not fine when it came to getting the ball out and Karim Benzema’s pressure caused the Whites to go ahead in the 50th minute. But Sadio Mané equalized just four minutes later to install doubts in a white team where the Welshman Gareth Bale emerged as the main protagonist, who came on in the second half to revolutionize the match.

The one from Cardiff made the stadium go crazy with a spectacular Chilean after a cross from Marcelo. It would be the first of his goals, since in the 82nd minute he left Karius in evidence again, who was unable to block his shot from outside the area without much power and focus, which ended up sneaking into the goal after the mistake of the German.

Real Madrid thus achieved the ‘Thirteenth’, at the expense of a Liverpool that saw its sixth Champions League away again. It was Cristiano Ronaldo’s last game with Real Madrid, coached at the time by Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, who would also announce his departure days later.

Of the players who started the match in kyiv, the Madrid team keeps Carvajal, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos and Benzema in the eleven that could be seen in Saint-Denis, in addition to Nacho, who came in due to injury to the side in the first half . While Marcelo and Isco, starters in 2018, are now relegated to the background, with a Bale, at that time decisive, outside all current white plans. Neither are Navas, Varane or Sergio Ramos.

For its part, the Liverpool that will be seen in Paris will present great differences in goal and in midfield, with the incursion of the Brazilians Alisson and Fabinho. Karius and Lovren are the only ones who are no longer part of the squad, in which, to the backbone formed by Van Dijk, Henderson, Salah – who was substituted in the first half due to a shoulder injury after a dispute with Ramos – and Mané, the names of Konaté, Thiago, Diego Jota and, above all, Luis Díaz, a great winter reinforcement for Klopp, are added.

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