In Europe’s premier competition, the Reds are chasing their seventh title while Los Blancos are aiming for a record-extending 14th title this weekend.
In the race to the Stade de France, Jurgen Klopp’s side has knocked out Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal, while Carlo Ancelotti’s men have eliminated Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
Despite the outcome, the double cup winners won the game 3-1, but Pep Guardiola’s stunning turnaround against Aston Villa ensured that the Premier League would remain in his hands and left Liverpool to rue what might have been.
A promising season ending with only two cups did not satisfy the travelling Liverpool party, and they faced a scare against European specialist Unai Emery and his giant-killing Villarreal team in the semi-finals, but no white flags were waved.
Liverpool will play in its 10th final of the European Cup/Champions League on Saturday, and some may argue that they have enjoyed a relatively favourable journey to the final, but Klopp will certainly point out that there are no easy games.
While Inter Milan did shut Liverpool out in a 1-0 Anfield win that proved to be inconsequential, Liverpool has scored at least twice in all of their Champions League matches this season – no mean feat when you consider Klopp’s unforgiving schedule.
Additionally, that loss to the Nerazzurri was the Reds’ last defeat in any competition, and Klopp has gone on to oversee an 18-game unbeaten run in all competitions since that defeat on March 8, including 10 wins in their last 11 games.
In 2018, many members of Liverpool’s current crop won runners-up medals after losing to Real Madrid in Kyiv, and revenge is firmly on the agenda for some – none more so than Mohamed Salah following his injury and tearful substitution.
Klopp claims vengeance is not on his mind, but the 33% win percentage against Real Madrid represents the German’s lowest against a single opponent, and ending the hoodoo on Saturday would certainly make up for the quadruple dream failing to materialize. However, his opposite number knows how to win a Champions League.