Champions League


Fair Use, BT Sport

Liverpool and Real Madrid will face off for the UCL trophy on May 28th.

The Champions League final stage is set; two of the most entertaining and dynamic teams— Liverpool and Real Madrid— will face off in Paris for the biggest game in club soccer.

Liverpool enters the UCL (Uefa Champions League) Final as a slight favorite and boasts a UEFA ranking of number two globally. The Reds are headed by Jürgen Klopp, who lead Liverpool to glory in 2019 when they beat Tottenham in the UCL final 2-0. Klopp followed that win by leading Liverpool to their first English Premier League title in 30 years the very next season.

Liverpool has cruised through the group stage, having faced weaker competition compared to Madrid. They faced a slight scare from Inter Milan in the Round of 16, but since then made quick work of Benfica and Villarreal winning by an aggregate score of 11-6. The face of this Liverpool team is undeniably Egyptian forward Mohammed Salah, one of the best and most dangerous forwards in the world. Salah’s pace and finishing have helped him score 33 total Champions League goals for the club, and he will be crucial for Liverpool to win the final. The Reds also have one of the most complete backlines featuring Andrew Robertson, Virgil Van Dijk, Ibrahima Konaté, and Trent Alexander Arnold.

Real Madrid enters the UCL final battle-tested, enduring the hardest route to the final. Madrid had to pass through Paris Saint Germanin with the likes of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe, then Chelsea before playing the favorites in Manchester City where they mounted one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history. Madrid found themselves down two goals in the 90th minute, however that didn’t stop them from scoring twice in two minutes to take the game into extra time where they eventually won off a Karim Benzema penalty.

In this final, Madrid finds itself a bit of a dark horse, despite being one of the world’s most well-known and successful clubs. From 2013 to 2018 Real Madrid won four of five UCL titles adding to their illustrious trophy case. However, this 2022 squad isn’t the same team. This year’s squad is coached by Carlo Ancelotti who led them to a UCL title in 2014, however, Madrid is fueled by world-class striker Karim Benzema. Benzema has been the best player in this year’s tournament, scoring a tournament-best fifteen goals in just eleven matches. If Madrid wants to hoist its 14th Champions League Trophy, it’s going to have to come from Benzema.

Despite being such an established and experienced club, on top of having the top goal scorer in the tournament, I believe Liverpool will lift the Champions League trophy on May 28th. I think the complete back line of Liverpool will be able to contain Benzema enough to keep Liverpool in it and allow their forwards such as Salah, Sadio Mané, or Roberto Firmino to score enough for Liverpool to reign victorious over all of Europe.