The fans painted the town red and white through the course of the day and Kiev was split into Liverpool and Madrid as it geared up for the final of arguably the biggest club competition in the world. There was a slight bomb scare in one of the subways but that turned out to be nothing more than a false alarm. After all the frolicking, the fans and the players have made their way to the stadium and we are only minutes away from the match. Follow live commentary of the Champions League final here.
Champions League Final Live, Real Madrid vs Liverpool build-up:
John Arne Riise brings the Champions League trophy into the stadium
Riise was part of the Liverpool squad that beat AC Milan to win the title in 2005 in a match that is regarded as the greatest ever Champions League final.
— #UCLfinal (@ChampionsLeague) May 26, 2018
So how are you preparing for the big match?
The Olympic Stadium in Kiev is where the match will be played. It has a capacity of over 70,000, which makes it the second largest sports stadium in Eastern Europe after Moscow's Luzhinski stadium. It serves as the home ground of Dynamo Kiev since 2011 and hosted the Euro 2012 final.
Think the Champions League final is the most lucrative match to win? Think again
This is just an example of the many absurdities that have come up because of the Premier League's ever increasing financial power.
Most valuable game in sports less than five hours away. Shad Khan’s Fulham vs. Aston Villa. Winner get promoted to the Premier League and guarantee of $125 million+ in revenue. pic.twitter.com/DI0UrkilCs— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 26, 2018
Kiev has been divided into Madrid and Liverpool
Fans of both sides are swarming the capital of Ukraine and, for the day, there seems to be a lot of Spain and England influence on the city. Here are some of the pics coming from there.
Earlier in the day
Around 5 PM IST, Reuters reported that Kiev had closed five subway stations, mostly in the central part of the Ukrainian capital, after a bomb warning. "The stations are closed to passengers and checks are being carried out," the subway operator said on Facebook. It was later reported that the subway has reopened after a bomb warning proved to be a false alarm. "The stations are checked and open for passengers. Explosive items were not found," the subway operator said on Facebook.
Luis Garcia on Mo Salah
Former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid player Luis Garcia on Reds' main man tonight: "He's been scoring goals all this season and in all competitions," said the 39-year-old. "He was the best player in the Premier League this season and today's game is on the biggest stage. I'm sure he's going to perform."
Xabi Alonso with mixed loyalties
Not just Fernando Morientes. Even Xabi Alonso will find it hard to pick between the two teams he's represented in his career. The Basque player has advice for Liverpool, "They have to deal with the emotional side, which is almost as important as the football side," he told AFP. "If they can get the right balance between excitement and motivation, that will be the right way to approach this final."
Marcelo on tonight's final
What does Real Madrid's second captain Marcelo have to say on the fnal? “Anything can happen in a final. We’ve been excellent in training, prepared well and we won’t change anything from what we normally do. The most important thing is to give your all, do everything you can.”
On winning the Champions League? “Each Champions League title is a different memory, but I don’t keep it in my mind. I think this would be too much of a burden because it is already been and gone. We played, we won and it is already in the past. We’re in 2018 now and we only think about the present. What happened in the past doesn't count.”
On playing for Real Madrid? “Before I joined [in 2007], I already knew Real Madrid were a great club, but since I’ve been here for so long, the club has taught me a great deal. I’ve been taught the values of this club. I’m very proud to be part of the club’s history. More than pride, it is a big responsibility.”
Wagner to have Klopp's back
Klopp will be supported at the Champions League final by a Premier League counterpart - Huddersfield's David Wagner. The two coaches have been friends for more than 25 years, starting in Germany and continuing in England. Speaking in Kiev ahead of the final, Wagner said ``we have texted a few times in the last week ... and I am sure his team will be on fire tonight.''
Klopp is godfather to Wagner's daughter. Wagner was Klopp's best man. They played for the same Mainz team in the Bundesliga in the early 1990s. They were coach (Klopp) and assistant coach (Wagner) for Borussia Dortmund from 2011-15. Klopp was hired by Liverpool in 2015 when Wagner was appointed Huddersfield manager.
Wagner says Klopp ``is able to deliver an atmosphere where everyone is relaxed but focused enough and this is why I am pretty confident they have a chance.''
Real Madrid go for the double
Last Sunday, Real Madrid's basketball team won the European title - their tenth EuroLeague trophy. But never have the basketball and football teams held the European title at the same time. First time for everything?
Morientes on the final
Fernando Morientes represented both Real Madrid and Liverpool. He's now the coach of the Real Madrid U17s and finds it tough to between the two. "Obviously in my heart it's Real Madrid," he told the Daily Mail. "I was playing there for eight years and won a lot of things. I live there now and worked as a coach with the Under-17s. Liverpool is my second team. It's a special final for me because Real Madrid and Liverpool are part of my history."
Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain has a message for the fans
Mohamed Salah - European Goals
Mohamed Salah has been in glorious form this season for Liverpool and he has reciprocated that in European competition. IN 11 appearances, he has scored 10 goals and 4 assists. He will pose a massive challenge for Real Madrid's defence.
Cristiano Ronaldo record books
There are a number of records which Real Madrid No. 7 Cristiano Ronaldo can break in tonight's clash against Liverpool. He already has 15 goals in 12 games in Champions League this season. He became the first player ever to score in all six matches in a Champions League group stage in December and with further strikes against Paris St Germain and Juventus in the knockout rounds he set yet another record in the competition by scoring in 10 consecutive games in the same season. If he scores a goal tonight, he will surpass Alfredo di Stefano to become the only player to score in four European Cup finals.
Real Madrid Royalty in the house
Some of the legendary Real Madrid players gathered together on the field and discussed some ideas before the match. How many can you recognise in this photo?
Who is performing this year at Champions League final?
The 22-year London artist, Dua Lipa will open the show in Kiev tonight. She is the youngest female artist to reach one billion hits on Youtube. She is also one of the most streamed singers in the world on Spotify. At such a young age, Lipa has 17m singles worldwide and 2.2m albums. “I was honoured to be asked by UEFA and Pepsi to perform at the ‘UEFA Champions League final opening ceremony’ – it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said. “I can’t wait to get in front of the fans and be part of such an exciting event – I’m planning to put on an unforgettable show!”
"Please beat Liverpool, Please" - David Beckham
Former Manchester United and Real Madrid legend David Beckham has a request for the Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane: Beat Liverpool. Well, understandably.
David Beckham to Zidane: "To have been successful as a player and now to be successful as the boss, the big boss, is incredible. I just want to wish Zizou, the boss, the president, the club good luck in the Champions League final. And please beat Liverpool, please!" #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/pWjyh4UEgO— M•A•J (@Ultra_Suristic) 25 May 2018
From Madrid media
A quick look at how the Madrid press is covering the Champions League with Diarioa AS and Marca the biggest sports newspapers in the city.
AS goes in with, "For glory and for history" as "Real Madrid look for 13th European title and historic third in a row"
Marca has the display of Real Madrid museum with the 12 trophies and the headline teasingly reads, "They're waiting for you at home" followed by the record attempt of third consecutive title and 13th overall.
All the best to Mohamed Salah: Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos was questioned whether Liverpool's Mohamed Salah could reach the level of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi some day. Here is what the defender has to say:
Luka Modric - Magician
A video of training showing a set piece taken by manager Zinedine Zidane and scored by Luka Modric has gone viral. Why? Because the two midfielders show exactly why there were called as the magicians of their time.
Zinedine Zidane x Luka Modrić. 💯🔥 pic.twitter.com/t9lrsYIW5K— Football Vines (@FootballVines) 24 May 2018
Real Madrid cannot forget Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp-led Borussia Dortmund schooled Jose Mourinho led Real Madrid in football back in 2012 in the Champions League. The manager is a familiar foe for Real, and he is a demon they want to forget. For Real, it is an opportunity they have not slipped up on in the past two years, and a side led by Klopp is the last thing they want to lose against.
CRAZY LIVERPOOL FANS!
Liverpool fans are going crazy - it is for the first time in 10 years the club has a shot at European Football's biggest prize! The fans have taken a control of the Kiev Airport and are chanting frantically. SCENES!
Ronaldo lives to play games like these - Zidane
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is absolutely confident that Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored in both the previous UCL title victories for Real Madrid in the last two years, will be up for the task for the third year in a row. "You need to know, Cristiano Ronaldo lives for matches like these," Zidane said.
Caroline Wozniacki is in the house, y'all!
Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki is a major Liverpool fan and she has a message for her favourite player Mohamed Salah - "Mo Salah is amazing and great!"
Adam Lallana's message to the fans
Adam Lallana has spent most of the season injured and on the sidelines. But the midfielder knows what winning the Champions League trophy would mean for the club. He sends an emotional video message for the fans.
BEWARE: This will definitely give you goosebumps. It might bring some tears, as well. You have been warned.
Heavy metal vs Rock ‘n’ Roll; Mohamed Salah vs Cristiano Ronaldo; Jurgen Klopp vs Zinedine Zidane; upstarts vs galacticos – the UEFA Champions League final between Real and Liverpool is a multi-layered narrative. But the path ahead won’t be as straightforward in Kiev. Here is a look at the possible tactics and pitfalls that both teams may encounter in Saturday’s match: CLICK HERE TO READ
Who will Manchester United fans be supporting, any guesses?
There is no prize for guessing the level of rivalry that has existed between Manchester United and Liverpool, all the Red Devils fans will be hoping for a Real Madrid victory. One person, who was at the front, back and centre of United's bitter rivalry with Liverpool was Gary Neville. Here is what he has to say about tonight's clash:
"If we did it, it would be big, too"
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp appears to be ready to take on the tough Real Madrid side. The German believes that if the Scousers lifted the Champions League trophy this season, it will be a big moment in the club's history. If we did it, it would be big, too. “They will want to do it again. It would be big 100 percent. If we did it, it would be big, too. We will try,” said Klopp.
"Mo Salah, Mo Salah!"
Real Madrid vs Liverpool build-up
The highly anticipated Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool will take place tonight, and the excited football fans are eagerly awaiting the kick-off. It is for the first time since Chelsea beat Barcelona to lift European football's biggest prize in 2012, that an English club has reached the final of the Champions League. The last time Liverpool won the trophy was way back in 2004-05 under the tutelage of Rafael Benitez as they defeated Inter Milan 3-2 via penalties. Real Madrid, on the other hand, have won the trophy twice in two years, and will be attempting a first-ever hat-trick.