Real Madrid and Liverpool are no strangers to playing in the final of the UEFA Champions League. Real has made it to the final 16 times while the team from Liverpool, England has played the final on nine occasions.
Moreover, Real Madrid and Liverpool are familiar foes in European club football competition right from the day’s the tournament was called the European Cup. They have faced off in the final twice before. Liverpool came out on top in 1981 and Real settled the score 2018.
What transpired in the previous Champions League final between the sides is still fresh in a lot of people’s memory. Mohamed Salah leaving the field in tears after a reckless tackle from Sergio Ramos, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius making huge blunders and Gareth Bale scoring a brace to complete Real’s hat-trick of Champions League triumphs
On paper, this final could be seen as the continuation of their 2018 final, as both teams still have many of the players that featured in that game in Kyiv, Ukraine.
But, this final actually has more in common with the one in 1981, where Alan Kennedy’s only goal in the 81st minute won Liverpool its third European Cup title.
The first big similarity between the final in 1981 and the forthcoming one is the venue. In both finals, the venue is the Stade de France in Paris. This year’s final was supposed to take place in Moscow, Russia. But after Russia invaded Ukraine, FIFA changed the venue of the final to Paris.
The two finals in Paris are taking place exactly 42 years and one day apart. The one in 1981 happened on 27 May and this year’s final is taking place on 28 May.
After that defeat, Real Madrid have not lost a final in the Champions League, winning seven finals in total, four of which have come in the last decade. But none of those seven wins took place in Paris.
The positive omens for Liverpool don’t end here. The last time Liverpool won the Champions League was in 2019. That year, they finished second in the English Premier League behind Manchester City. That season, the title fight ran until the final day and Liverpool in the end settled for the second spot, finishing just one point behind champions Manchester City.
The recently concluded Premier League season followed a similar script with Liverpool once again finishing runners-up in the table, just one point behind champions Manchester City.
The co-incidences and history are seemingly preparing a script for Liverpool to win its seventh Champions League title. Will history repeat itself or will Real Madrid’s unbeaten run in Champions League finals continue, it will all be evident in just a few hours.