KIEV, May 25: A thrilling run inspired by Mohamed Salah has taken Liverpool to the Champions League final in Kiev against Real Madrid, where now Jurgen Klopp’s side must stop the Spanish giants from winning the trophy for the third year running.
Real have seen this as their competition ever since winning the first five European Cups in a row, and this is another golden era for them, in which they are dreaming of making it a fourth Champions League in five years.
Neither Atletico Madrid (twice) nor Juventus have been able to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from inflicting pain on them in recent finals.
But Liverpool’s own attacking quality gives them reason to believe and suggests the Olympic Stadium in the Ukrainian capital could be the scene of an unforgettable encounter.
In terms of history alone, this is a dream final.
Real’s 12 European Cup wins puts them way ahead of the rest, but Liverpool have lifted the famous trophy five times themselves, most recently in 2005, defying all the odds against AC Milan in Istanbul.
This time, under Klopp, their adventure started against Hoffenheim in the play-offs last August, on through stunning wins over Manchester City and Roma via a 3-3 draw in Seville when they had been three goals up.
They have scored a record 46 goals in all in this season’s Champions League, with Salah netting 11 of those — the Egyptian has 44 in all competitions since joining from Roma last year. (Agencies)