two endings of Champions and a quarterfinal key had them as protagonists in recent years, but the fight still does not stop. After injuries, open wounds, personal revenge, intense definitions, great goals and much more, real Madrid Y Liverpool They will cross paths to glory again, forced to add another chapter to a rivalry that has already become a special tradition in recent years.
Due to fate, perhaps, ‘whites’ and ‘reds’ will have to risk their lives -again- in the knockout stages of the Champions League. If before they played the ‘Orejona’ in kyiv and Paris, now they have to fight for the ticket to the quarterfinals in their strengths: Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid) and Anfield (Liverpool), as they did in 2021 as well.
It is nothing new that Real Madrid vs Liverpool has become a European superclásico, which everyone has an obligation to see. Both teams have consistently proven to be among the best on the planet, so their rivalry already goes beyond the trilogy.
Of course, in the three times they have faced each other, Real Madrid always knew how to come out on top. That is why now the meringues seek to continue on the same triumphal path. Although it is clear that Liverpool will not make it easy for him. Every time the fight is more close and the ‘reds’ dream of breaking their losing streak against this direct contender.
Kyiv Final, 2018
The imposing city of kyiv, today unfortunately covered in a warlike atmosphere, welcomed the enormous white jubilation that was unleashed on May 26, 2018, when Real Madrid triumphed 3-1 over Liverpool in a beautiful Champions League final.
Everything was going normally in that match until in the 30th minute, Mohamed Salah suffered a shoulder injury, caused by none other than Sergio Ramos. The Egyptian winger, who had a great season, had to leave the field disconsolate. What followed after that, in the second half, was a painful series of strikes for Liverpool.
What happened? Karim Benzema opened the account at 51′ with the unexpected complicity of Loris Karius, who casually handed him the ball. However, Sadio Mané was able to briefly remedy his teammate’s mistake, tying the match just four minutes later.
Thus, with the score tied, a hero had to emerge from the bench: Gareth Bale. The Welshman entered the game after 61 minutes and only needed three minutes to tip the balance with a great goal from Chalaca, impossible to stop. Later, he himself was in charge of sentencing the match with a long left foot, which Karius -on his worst day- could not stop, after the ball escaped from his hands.
An acrobatic image of Bale, the cries of Karius and the unforgettable injury of Salah graphed what that final in kyiv was. Madrid celebrated its 13th Champions League there, the third in a row, and Liverpool was left empty-handed, but hungry for revenge.
In the midst of the pandemic and the endless restrictions due to COVID-19, Real Madrid and Liverpool met again, but in the quarterfinals of the tournament. The meringues were the only Spanish survivors, after the eliminations of Atlético de Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla in the round of 16, so it only depended on them.
Meanwhile, the ‘Reds’ arrived at that instance accompanied by Manchester City and Chelsea, who would later be the English finalists of that 2020/21 edition. Be that as it may, Liverpool was once again measured against its executioner in kyiv and things did not go well as expected.
In the first leg, in an Alfredo di Stéfano without an audience, Real Madrid managed to win categorically in the first leg. Vinicius’s brace and a goal from Asensio caused the Spanish team to be one step away from the semis with a 3-1 win, which put Liverpool on the ropes despite Salah’s discount goal.
On the way back there wasn’t much to do. Without the magnanimous support of their fans at Anfield, the ‘Reds’ were unable to manage a heroic comeback -as with Barcelona in 2019- to eliminate Madrid. The score remained goalless and the meringues qualified for the semifinals without problems, although Chelsea finally put an end to their dream in that instance.
Paris final, 2022
Based on miraculous comebacks, Real Madrid reached the final without being a favorite in any of their previous keys. He managed to leave PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City on the road with honor. Liverpool, for its part, was cited in the definition of the title after having beaten less dangerous teams: Inter Milan, Benfica and the surprising Villarreal.
Thus, the rematch between the two became a reality. But the rancor had not passed. Salah, specifically, sought to close the wound that was left open since kyiv and that is why he asked for Real Madrid in the final, even before the meringues got through the semis. His wish was fulfilled.
“I remember when I left the field after 30 minutes, it was the worst moment of my career. I was really depressed. I had a good season and then played my first Champions League final and leaving so early was the worst thing that could happen to me.”recalled the Egyptian star in the run-up to the final in Paris.
Unfortunately, the Egyptian and the rest of his teammates could not get the nail out of the way. Everything already indicated that Real Madrid was predestined to win that cup and it was.
The meringues, saved more than once by the miraculous hands of Thibaut Courtois -the true hero in Paris-, triumphed 1-0 with a solitary goal from Vinicius in one of the few they had. The ‘Reds’ tried to tie the game, but they could do little or nothing against the two-meter Belgian wall in front of them.
Now the trilogy will close with home and away matches, where Madrid is clearly the favourite. The two antecedents support him. This yes, Liverpool will try to redeem itself as it is in front of his biggest executioner of the last years, so anything can happen.
I, Ronald Payne, am a journalist and author who dedicated his life to telling the stories that need to be said. I have over 7 years of experience as a reporter and editor, covering everything from politics to business to crime.