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Thursday, April 02, 2020

Real Madrid vs Liverpool, Champions League final build-up highlights

The teams and fans are all in the stadium after spending much of the day painting Kiev red and white.

By: Sports Desk | Kiev | Updated: May 26, 2018 11:11:11 pm
Liverpool fans in Kiev before the match. (Source: Reuters)

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. 

Live Blog

Champions League Final Live, Real Madrid vs Liverpool build-up:


    22:15 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.

    21:45 (IST)26 May 2018
    So how are you preparing for the big match?

    Calling some friends and watching the match over some beers? Or, are you sticking to your roots and doing something like this?

    21:16 (IST)26 May 2018
    The Stadium

    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.

    (Source: Reuters)
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    20:55 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.

    20:43 (IST)26 May 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. 

    (Source: Reuters)
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    20:36 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.

    20:10 (IST)26 May 2018
    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."

    19:54 (IST)26 May 2018
    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."

    19:18 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.”

    19:03 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.''

    18:52 (IST)26 May 2018
    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?

    18:17 (IST)26 May 2018
    Can Ramos make it three titles?

    Sergio Ramos also going for history in Kiev

    18:01 (IST)26 May 2018
    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."

    17:34 (IST)26 May 2018
    Real Madrid video for the final

    Real Madrid's everything you need to know video ahead of the final

    17:32 (IST)26 May 2018
    Who is the key man in tonight's match?

    Cristiano Ronaldo vs Mohamed Salah?

    Sergio Ramos vs Virgil Van Dijk?

    Who will be the key man in tonight's match?

    16:57 (IST)26 May 2018
    Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain has a message for the fans
    Liverpool's Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain is eagerly awaiting the kickoff of the big match. Though he is injured and will miss out the big match, Chamberlain says that he will be there in Kiev to support his team. 

    16:19 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.

    15:43 (IST)26 May 2018
    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.


    15:08 (IST)26 May 2018
    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?

    14:19 (IST)26 May 2018
    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!”

    UCL Preview, Ronaldo vs Salah Champions League Final Live, Real Madrid vs Liverpool build-up: Mohamed Salah during Liverpool's training session on Friday. (Source: Reuters)

    Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool will be hoping to get another match-winning performance from the English Premier League Golden Boot winner this season, Mohamed Salah, who has scored 43 goals for the club in all competitions this year in 46 appearances. He has been the man in form for Liverpool and will pose the major threat to Real Madrid's shaky defence. Real centre backs, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, will need to be cautious against the speed, agility and accuracy of Salah, who has become a star player in European football. Ramos cannot afford to get an early booking, as he can expect himself be put to task by the Egyptian.