Real Madrid and Liverpool fight for glory

Two of the most iconic and historic football clubs in the world will face in Kiev on Saturday to win the most coveted club’s trophy. With World Cup this is the most significant trophy a footballer can win. With 12 victories in the competition and also the last two editions, Real Madrid are the favorites to repeat again this season.

Liverpool won the big ears Cup 5 times in the club’s history and the last one was in 2005 when the Reds overcame a 3-0 deficit against AC Milan to win in the penalties shootouts. This year, the Champions League Finals betting odds are clearly showing an overwhelming advantage for the Spanish club. Despite all odds this season, Liverpool always found a way to advance to the Final and knocked out opponents like Manchester City where they were the underdogs too. 

Real Madrid coach Zidane previews his third straight Champions League Final:

“The players are very hungry to go on winning and they’ve shown that. It’s fantastic to have started my coaching career at such a high level. I focus on my day-to-day work and the only final I’m interested in is this year’s, I’m not interested in the previous ones.

There is something special about the Champions League, given the club’s history with this competition. And that includes the fans: it holds a special importance for them too. This club is the one that has won the European Cups the most times, so it’s an important competition for us.

It’s a very difficult competition and there’s a lot of pressure. You have to work very hard to reach the final and the competition is very high. In terms of intensity and commitment, it’s a very tough competition. The pressure is always going to be there. Although we’ve reached four finals recently, it does not mean that it is an easy competition.”

On Liverpool:

“It may be the toughest final we’ve had. We’ll certainly not be thinking that Liverpool are weaker than other teams, because they’re not. They’ve earned their right to be in the final thanks to their performances.

They’ve played well and knocked out top teams. It’s been a while since they reached their last final, but it’s a club with great history and knows how to play in these matches. We’ll have to be at our best on every level, not just physically.

They’re an English team, so will never give up. But they not only rely on their physical attributes, but they are also good technically, with lots of speed and great players.”

Coach Liverpool Klopp on the importance of this game:

“Apart from the World Cup final, this is the biggest game you can play in and we are all really looking forward to it. It is something that everyone wants. I really love that season so far because it was for us a big step.

We have to be a little bit more lively than other teams because we have a lack of experience in comparison with the really big teams. For example, Real Madrid are a world-class team [and] we are a top-class team – there’s still a difference and if you are not on the same level, you have to invest more, you have to do more. 

Doing more can lead to more mistakes as well, but I don’t think at the moment there’s any alternative to that and that’s why we do it like we do it. But how I said, our game changed already plenty of times. We look more mature in different moments. In a few games it was a little bit of a mix of [being] unlucky and not 100 per cent concentrated, or the intensity of the season because we had obviously a few injury problems. 

Last year we were fourth, had a final against Middlesbrough – nobody wanted that but we had it and we won it and it was cool and we celebrated it until we realized had to play against Hoffenheim. 

Everybody said it constantly over the year but we don’t play international football during the week – true. And this year we had international football and obviously our longest journey so far and we are still qualified for the Champions League, so for us it’s a big step and I really like that.”