Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final in Paris, and the Merseyside club are sure to remember the 2018 clash at Kyiv, where Los Blancos comfortably defeated the Premier League side 3-1. Sadio Mane was Liverpool’s lone scorer, while Gareth Bale knocked in two and Karim Benzema scored another.
The insult to Jurgen Klopp’s side was compounded by an injury – literally – due to Madrid’s then-defender Sergio Ramos‘ foul. Locking Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah’s arm, Ramos cleared the ball before taking both of them down. Salah suffered a ligament injury to his shoulder, forcing the Egyptian out of action.
The Reds were looking to Salah’s prolific form that season and presence on the field to make an impact, but after him having to go off, they struggled against Madrid, whose mentality in the European tournament is tough to match for most, even on a good day.
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Since then, Salah has been out for revenge. In 2019, Liverpool managed to come back from their 2018 loss to win the Champions League, defeating Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid. Meanwhile, in 2020, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain faced off in the finals, and 2021 saw Chelsea defeat Manchester City to win the European trophy.
However, this year, Salah has a chance to get even, and the 29-year-old seemed determined after winning the Golden Boot jointly with Heung-min Son, for being the highest PL scorer.
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“We’re not done yet” he tweeted, on the day Liverpool lost the PL title to Manchester City in a nail-biting finish to the season.
Football has often been a game of redemption, as Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti well knows. Speaking ahead of the fixture, he recalled the 2005 AC Milan loss to Liverpool, where the Anfield side had come up from being three goals down at halftime to win the game in penalties. However, Ancelotti with Milan, got even in 2007, defeating Liverpool.
It remains to be seen if Klopp and Salah have karma on their side as the two clubs battle for Europe’s highest footballing glory.