The current Champions League season had many ups and downs. Many records were broken and with Real Madrid and The FC Liverpool two teams which have played tremendous football throughout the whole Champions League season are now to be seen in the final. A serial winner and a surprise-team.
The Story Behind Real Madrid
Twelve matches played, eight games won, two deuces and two losses against Tottenham in the beginning of the season and against Juventus in the second leg of the quarterfinal. Although, the superstar assemble around Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have left feathers throughout the whole tournament Real made it into the final leaving in two very close games the FC Bayern Munich in the semi-final behind. But the story goes much deeper than that. Real Madrid has started of fairly weak into the current season, with a very inconsistent CR7. However, Madrid pulled themselves back out of their misery in La Liga and are currently third placed. Although the chances to win the “Copa Del Rey” and the Spanish Championship are both long gone, as Real was kicked out by Leganes in the quarter final and are currently 15 points behind the first placed FC Barcelona. Therefore, the last possible title for Real Coach Zinedine Zidane is now the Champions League. A title which could turn Zidane into a legend, as he would be the first coach to win the Champions League three times in a row since the tournament was established in 1992 replacing the European Champion Clubs´ Cup.
By far the most notable players for Madrid are Cristiano Ronaldo who changed his style of playing given his age. The current Ballon D’or winner CR7 who is currently 33, has adapted his style of playing perfectly to his age. Knowing that it is hard for him to keep up his high standards of playing throughout the whole season, Ronaldo is now a more centred player and took over the role of the striker in Madrid alongside the Frenchman Karim Benzema. In midfield, players such as the German Toni Kroos and the Croatian box to box midfielder Luka Modric, give Real Madrid the strength and accuracy it needs in order to enhance the traits from players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema or Gareth Bale. But also, Real Madrid´s defence certainly has its upsides. With Keylor Navas, who has been largely criticised within this and past seasons, Real Madrid certainly has a goalkeeper who can perform well in important games as the Costa Rican goalkeeper held Real Madrid in the tournament in the two semi-final legs against Germany’s most successful club, the FC Bayern Munich. And although Real’s defence often seems to crumble, players such as Sergio Ramos and Marcelo often stand out whether it be offensively or defensively.
The Respectable Underdog FC Liverpool
After years of nationally and internationally drought in regards to successful football, Jürgen Klopp brought the winning gene back into the Merseyside. With Liverpool reaching the final of the Champions League, the German coach leads the “Reds” into their second European final in three years, after reaching the Euro League final two years ago. Although it took a few years until the high-pressuring and counter-attacking football reached a level which cannot be compared to anywhere else in the world of football, Klopp always managed to stay successful. Meanwhile this season, the FC Liverpool reached a level which is very close to perfection. By entering the champions league final and getting third behind long-time rival Manchester United and Pep Guardiola´s Manchester City, Liverpool started to be extremely successful, raising like a Phoenix out of its ashes of the recent years before Klopp.
A big role within the successfulness of the FC Liverpool is the striking trio up-front. Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and the “Egyptian Messi” Mohamed Salah.
The 25-year-old Egyptian plays an impeccable season at the Anfield Road. By scoring in 49 games, a total of 43 goals and assisting 15 more in all tournaments, Salah has reached a level which is statistically comparable to players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Also, Liverpool´s defence and midfield is fairly strong. The Liverpool midfielder and captain, Jordan Henderson, proofed of how valuable he actually is for his team. When overlooking his past matches in the Champions League, Henderson is not only pushing his team forward, but also always looks out for the players around him, attempting to give them the best possibilities there are to strike forward. In defence, the fresh winter-signing Virgil van Dijk, raised the level of Liverpool’s defence even more. The most expensive defender in the history of football, is a sincere aerial threat in the opponent’s box and keeps his calmness and composure inside his own half.
This champions league final is definitely a final with two strong sides competing at the highest level possible. The Champions League has found a worthy ending to an unforgettable season, with two masterminds as coaches, and incredible offensive side on both teams and an evenly matched defence. Both teams will try their hardest to win the title as Zidane is just one match away from possible perfection and Klopp has finally the opportunity to bring the possibly most important title of the season to the Anfield Road. As for now, Real Madrid seems to have the better chances of winning, but Zidane and Ronaldo should definitely be prepared for an evening of high class football.