|2022 Champions League final: Liverpool v Real Madrid|
|Date: 28 May Venue: Stade de France, Paris Kick-off: 20:00 BST|
When Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris on Saturday, May 28, they will be attempting to win the competition’s most coveted prize for the seventh time in the club’s history.
As Jurgen Klopp’s Reds aim to complete an FA Cup, Carabao Cup, and Champions League treble in their 63rd and last game of the 2021-22 season, up to 60,000 Liverpool fans are expected in Paris, many of whom will be without tickets.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, has won the UEFA Champions League a record 13 times, and its Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti is aiming for a fourth title – the most by any manager in the tournament’s history – after leading AC Milan (2002-03, 2006-07) and Real (2013-14) to European triumph.
Liverpool are in their third Champions League final in five seasons, coming off the disappointment of losing the Premier League title race to Manchester City last weekend.
“We’re all in a nice mood right now. 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 Red’s boss Jurgen Klopp.
The German continued: “Because this tournament is extremely demanding, three finals in five years is extraordinary. It’s truly unique. We truly want to give it our all, and we’ll see how it goes.”
Real Madrid are seeking a league and European double after emerging Spanish champions this season. While their Saturday opponents, Liverpool, are aiming for a treble.
Ancelotti became the first manager to win a league title in all five Europe’s major leagues when he led Real to their 35th La Liga triumph in April 2022.
“Two great teams will face off, and the one with more daring and personality will emerge victorious in the end,” coach Ancelotti said.
If the teams cannot be separated in the regular 90 minutes, the final will be determined by 30 minutes of extra time and then penalties if a winner fails to emerge.
The widely awaited final on Saturday pits two European football heavyweights against each other.
While Real Madrid is looking for their 14th title, which would be more than any other club, a win for Liverpool would tie them with AC Milan (7) for second position in the overall standings.
Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid are both in contention for this year’s Ballon d’Or, which is given to the best footballer in the world for a particular season.
Benzema, 34, scored 15 goals in Europe this season, including two hat-tricks, and is the Champions League’s top scorer in 2021-22, while Mane played a key role in Senegal’s first African Cup of Nations victory in February.
Mane, who is 30 years old, also helped Senegal qualify for the 2022 World Cup by winning two domestic cups with Liverpool this season. Mane, who has been linked with a transfer away from Liverpool this summer, has stated that he will provide a “special” statement about his future after the final.
After losing 3-1 to Real in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv, Mohamed Salah declared earlier this month that Liverpool had “a score to settle” with the Spanish giants.
After falling badly following a challenge by Sergio Ramos four years ago, the Egypt star exited the pitch in tears. Salah, whose contract with the club expires in June 2023, continued, “I want to play against them and perhaps win it from them as well.”
This is the third final meeting between Liverpool and Real.
In addition to 2018, the two clubs met in 1981, with Liverpool winning 1-0 in Paris. Will history repeat itself forty-one years later?
Despite four defeats, Madrid earned a spot in the final
Real Madrid lost four times in 12 Champions League matches this season, while Liverpool lost three times in 62 matches across all competitions in 2021-22, but the Spanish champions have advanced to their 17th final.
They’ve beaten Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City along the way, but were stunned in the group stage by Moldova’s Sheriff Tiraspol in September.
Real fought back from a 3-0 deficit against City in the semi-finals.
With just one minute of normal time remaining in the second leg with Pep Guardiola’s side down 5-3 on aggregate, Benzema scored before Rodrygo forced extra time 89 seconds later.
With a penalty, Benzema, who has seven Champions League goals against English opponents this season, sent Ancelotti’s side to Paris.
After Russia was stripped of Champions League final hosting rights, Paris stepped in
The showpiece final of European club football, which is likely to be viewed by up to 400 million people around the world, is being hosted in Paris after Russia was stripped of the tournament following its invasion of Ukraine.
The match was originally slated to take place at St Petersburg, but Uefa confirmed in February that it would be moved to the Stade de France in Paris.
Paris has only three months to prepare, far less than the normal 18.
The Champions League final has been moved for the third year in a row, the first two times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The last time the Champions League final was held at the Stade de France was in 2006, when Barcelona defeated Arsenal.
Paris is painted red by Liverpool fans
As Paris prepares for the Champions League final, authorities in France expect an inflow of up to 60,000 Liverpool fans.
To soak up the atmosphere, many have traveled without a ticket to the event by coach, rail, plane, and boat.
Around 7,000 police officers will be on duty, and authorities have set up a massive fan zone along the Cours de Vincennes, a major road in the east of Paris, six miles from the stadium, for up to 45,000 Liverpool fans.
The capacity of the Stade de France is 75,000, but only 20,000 tickets have been made available to each team, with a further 12,000 tickets available for sale to fans worldwide.
National associations, business partners, broadcasters, and Uefa’s official hospitality program received the remaining 23,000 seats.
More than a fifth of Liverpool’s ticket allotment was for seats ranging in price from £410 to £578.
On Friday and Saturday, Liverpool John Lennon Airport added 34 extra flights to transport roughly 9,000 fans to Paris, with 13 flights going on Friday and 21 flights departing on Saturday morning.
Fans traveling to France, on the other hand, experienced enormous lines at the Port of Dover.
After being detained in hour-long lines with families on their way to half-term vacations, some people complained of “chaos.”