Champions League Final 2022

Champions League Final 2022 (UCL) – read all about the upcoming final and the team performances here.


All Liverpool’s goals en route to the Champions League final
The similarity to the 2018/19 Champions League-winning campaign is that domestically Liverpool are chasing a rampant Manchester City, and it seems that having such an objective always brings the best out of Jürgen Klopp’s team. When they hit top form, and everything works in devastating harmony, it’s hard to see anyone coping with them.

Liverpool UEFA ranking: 2

Liverpool European Cup wins:
1976/77, 1977/78, 1980/81, 1983/84, 2004/05, 2018/19
Last season: quarter-finals (L 1-3 agg vs Real Madrid)
Last final: 2018/19 (W 2-0 vs Tottenham)

Liverpool’s Champions League Campaign 2021/22
Record: W10 D1 L1 F30 A13
Top scorer: Mohamed Salah (8)
Semi-finals: 5-2 agg vs Villarreal
Quarter-finals: 6-4 agg vs Benfica
Round of 16: 2-1 agg vs Inter
Group B: winners

Liverpool have faced stiff competition, which makes it even more impressive that they sport a near-perfect record: 12 games and just one loss in the round of 16 second leg against Inter. In fact, it was only the Nerazzurri who consistently troubled Klopp’s side, at least until a nerve-strewn first-half display in the second leg of their semi-final against Villarreal. The way the Reds bounced back was a statement in itself, however.

How do Liverpool play?
Klopp rarely deviates from his tried and tested 4-3-3 formation – a system that has served the Reds wonderfully well since the German’s arrival in 2015. Their high-intensity pressing has been refined in recent seasons – with a little help from smart acquisitions such as Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz – but it remains just as effective. At their best, they are arguably Europe’s finest side.

Who is Liverpool’s key player?
Mohamed Salah. The Egypt forward has been the face of this Liverpool side since arriving from Roma in 2017. A star at Basel, he first landed in England with Chelsea in 2014 but has proved a major talent on Merseyside, his pace, intelligence and finishing helping him bag 33 Champions League goals for the club.

Who is Liverpool Coach?
Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool boss since 2015, Klopp guided the Reds to continental glory in 2018/19 and to their first English title in 30 years the next season. A striker turned defender at Mainz, he masterminded two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund before heading to Anfield.

Did you know?
Liverpool have been European champions six times – more than any other English team. That is as many titles as Bayern, with Milan and Real Madrid the only clubs to have won more.

Real Madrid

If they can turn that epic tie against Manchester City around, having also stunned Paris and survived an onslaught from holders Chelsea, nothing is beyond them. Karim Benzema is in the form of his life, and with Vinicíus Júnior providing scintillating support, as well as the venerable Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić pulling the strings, who would dare rule out the 13-time winners doing what they do best?

Real Madrid UEFA ranking: 5

Real Madrid European Cup wins:
1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1997/98, 1999/2000, 2001/02, 20013/14,2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18
Last season: semi-finals (L 1-3 agg vs Chelsea)
Last final: 2017/18 (W 3-1 vs Liverpool)

Real Madrid’s Champions League Campaign 2021/22
Record: W8 D0 L4 F28 A14
Top scorer: Karim Benzema (15)
Semi-finals: 6-5 agg vs Man. City
Quarter-finals: 5-4 agg vs Chelsea
Round of 16: 3-2 agg vs Paris
Group D: winners

How is it possible to lose at home to Sheriff and then reach the final with gargantuan performances against Paris, Chelsea and Manchester City? The route map helps explain. Madrid won nothing last season and, by their own admission, were desperate for trophies at home and in Europe this time round. The 5-0 away victory over Shakhtar reset Madrid’s GPS in the group stage. Defeat in Paris did the same – leading to a different high-pressing approach which reaped further reward at Stamford Bridge. Then, freshly crowned as Spanish champions, they surpassed all those efforts in that impossible-to-analyse tie against City.

How do Real Madrid play?
Working within a 4-3-3 template, Madrid have a strong spine starting with Thibaut Courtois and running through centre-back Éder Militão to the experienced midfield trio of Casemiro, Modrić and Kroos with all that technical quality, vision and experience. And then you get to the in-form Benzema up front – a master of the arts of centre-forward play. They also have the energy of increasingly influential younger players like Vinícius Júnior and Federico Valverde, as well as that intangible knowhow that gets them out of the tightest of spots.

Who is Real Madrid’s key player?
Karim Benzema. Many people wondered where Real Madrid’s goals would come from when Cristiano Ronaldo left in 2018, but the France forward has more than stepped up to the plate to become the club’s talisman. He scored Madrid’s 1,000th European Cup goal against Shakhtar earlier this campaign then turned around their last-16 tie with Paris with a second-half hat-trick before striking the decisive blow in extra time against the Blues to make it four goals in the tie. His Panenka against City almost defied belief and he was nerveless from the spot in the return too to send his side to the showpiece.

Who is Real Madrid coach?
Carlo Ancelotti. The manager who steered Madrid to ‘La Décima’ in 2014 returned last summer for a second stint in charge. He is one of just three coaches to have won the European Cup/Champions League on three occasions, and will be the first to manage in five finals.

Did you know?
Madrid have reached the European Cup final for the 17th time this season, six more than any other club. They have won their last seven finals in this competition and, of course, their total of 13 titles is unsurpassed.

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