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Champions League Final: European Royalty As Liverpool Meet Real Madrid

So, there it is. made it past to set up a mouthwatering clash between two of the most successful European clubs in the final of the .

Between them, they have 17 European Cup triumphs, beginning and ending with Real Madrid’s victories in 1955 and 2017.

Here is a look back at the 17 times that Liverpool or have won Europe’s premier competition.

1956 – REAL MADRID (beat Stade de Reims 4-3 in Paris)

The first ever European Cup final, and what a way to begin. Stade de Reims – who had beaten Scottish side Hibernian in the semi-final – went 2-0 up, before Real Madrid came back with a bang. The legendary Alfredo Di Stefano scored the first, before Hector Rial turned the tie on its head to give Real the lead. Another comeback followed, but Marquitos ensured Real Madrid were the first ever winners.

1957 – REAL MADRID (beat 2-0 in Madrid)

After beating in the semi-final, Madrid enjoyed home comforts in the final as Fiorentina came to the Bernabeu in May 1957. A huge 124,000 fans packed out the arena, but in the end the Italians gave up much less of a fight than Stade de Reims the year before. Di Stefano got another Champions League final goal, before Francisco Gento secured a second successive European Cup.

1958 – REAL MADRID (beat 3-2 after extra time in Brussels)

Surely Real Madrid couldn’t win it three times in a row, could they? Quite simply, yes. The best team in Europe proved it again… easy wins over Royal Antwerp, and Vasas got them to Heysel, before AC Milan put up quite a fight in the May final. Real Madrid went 1-0 and 2-1 down, but that man Di Stefano came up trumps again to help them get to extra time. From there, Gento scored the winner with 107 minutes on the clock and the trophy was Real’s once more.

1959 – REAL MADRID (beat Stade de Reims 2-0 in Stuttgart)

Back for more, 1956 runners up Stade de Reims arrived in Stuttgart desperate to get revenge for three years previously. They had beaten Glasgow Rangers in the semis but proved no match for Real this time around. Enrique Mateos opened the scoring within seconds, before Di Stefano netted in his fourth straight European Cup final to secure a fourth straight title.

1960 – REAL MADRID (beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in Glasgow)

Hampden Park was home to one of the highest-scoring European Cup finals in history back in 1960. There was a Scottish referee too, by the name of Jack Mowat, and 127,621 fans saw Real Madrid lift the trophy for a fifth consecutive year. Two of the biggest names in footballing history scored the goals for Real, with Di Stefano netting three and Ferenc Puskas getting four.

1966 – REAL MADRID (beat Partizan Belgrade 2-1 in Brussels)

After their five in a row, Real Madrid went out to in the first round in 1961, before agonising final defeats against Benfica and in 1962 and 1964. Their next triumph came in 1966, just months before lifted the . Partizan Belgrade were the opponents in Brussels, with both teams knocking British opponents out on their way to the final (Real in Kilmarnock and Partizan in Manchester United). Real won the final from a goal down with Amancio Amaro and Fernando Serena getting the second-half goals.

1977 – LIVERPOOL (beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 in Rome)

Here come the Reds. In the same location that they beat Roma in 2018 came their first ever European win back in 1977. Liverpool had beaten Crusaders, Trabzonspor, Saint-Etienne and Zurich on their way to the Italian capital, and in the end it was a deserved 3-1 win which saw them lift the Cup. Terry McDermott gave the English side the lead and, despite an Allan Simonsen equaliser, Tommy Smith and Phil Neal secured the victory.

1978 – LIVERPOOL (beat Club Brugge 1-0 in London)

Real Madrid earned their first back-to-back European Cup triumph on home turf in , and Liverpool did the same in England. After winning it in 1977, Wembley was to host the final in 78 and Liverpool almost looked destined to get there from the start. Dynamo Dresden and Benfica were beaten early on, before a repeat of the previous year’s final against Monchengladbach. Liverpool overcame them and then earned a narrow 1-0 win over Club Brugge in the final. 92,000 fans at Wembley saw Kenny Dalglish score the only goal, and Liverpool lift their second European Cup.

1981 – LIVERPOOL (beat Real Madrid 1-0 in Paris)

The year 1981 is likely to be mentioned plenty of times in the lead-up to this year’s final, given it saw Liverpool face Real Madrid for the first – and only – time in the final. The Parc des Princes in Paris was the venue, and a team including Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Dalglish beat Vujadin Boskov’s Real. Alan Kennedy scored the only goal to help Bob Paisley’s side lift their third trophy – the first British club to reach that feat.

1984 – LIVERPOOL (beat Roma 4-3 on penalties in Rome)

Not an easy feat, this one. Liverpool headed to the Italian capital to face Roma on home turf, and ended up coming away with a 4-3 win on penalties. The game itself had finished 1-1 (a Phil Neal opener before Roberto Pruzzo equalised) but the two teams couldn’t be split after that. In the shootout, Steve Nicol missed the opener for the Reds, but it was all positive from there as Phil Neal, Graeme Souness, Ian Rush and Alan Kennedy all scored. A fourth European Cup headed back to Merseyside.

1998 – REAL MADRID (beat 1-0 in Amsterdam)

A barren spell of 32 years was ended in some style by Real Madrid in 1998 as they beat Juventus by a single goal in Holland. Now-Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane lined up for Juve at the Amsterdam Arena, but he, Edgar Davids and Co could not stop Predrag Mijatovic netting a 66th-minute winner. One other interesting nugget of information is that Real Madrid were managed by Jupp Heynckes at the time – he is, of course, the current boss.

2000 – REAL MADRID (beat 3-0 in Paris)

Real Madrid were clearly not willing to let another barren spell begin and, after losing to Dynamo Kiev in 1999, they were back with a bang at the turn of the century. They arrived in Paris having beaten heavyweights Manchester United and Bayern Munich in the knockout stages, and they didn’t slow down at all in the final. Vicente del Bosque was now in charge of Los Blancos, and a team including Nicolas Anelka, Raul and Steve McManaman rampaged to a 3-0 win. Fernando Morientes, McManaman and Raul got the goals at the Stade de France.

2002 – REAL MADRID (beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 in Glasgow)

By this point, Real Madrid had really cemented themselves as the best team in the history of European football. They were in their 12th final, and this became their ninth European Cup success. They were regarded as the favourites heading into the tie, and that seemed appropriate when Raul put them ahead just eight minutes in. It was far from plain sailing, though, as Lucio equalised for the Germans, but Real Madrid were not willing to let it slip. Zidane, who had now swapped Juventus for the Bernabeu, scored in the 45th minute to win the game, and the competition.

2005 – LIVERPOOL (beat AC Milan 3-2 on penalties in Istanbul)

Liverpool’s last Champions League triumph, and surely one of the most famous nights in European history. Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo had put the Italians 3-0 up at half-time, and from the brink of defeat somehow Liverpool came back. First Steven Gerrard, then Vladimir Smicer, and then Xabi Alonso, by the hour mark Liverpool had pulled the game back to 3-3. In the penalty shootout, Andriy Shevchenko’s miss was the decisive one as Jerzy Dudek’s spaghetti legs made history.

2014 – REAL MADRID (beat 4-1 AET in Lisbon)

Another barren spell had taken place for Real Madrid as they headed into the 2014 final in Lisbon. Prior to their previous win in 2002, the semi-final was as far as they had got and a final against their bitter rivals Atletico was just about as big as it got. Step forward Sergio Ramos, his injury-time equaliser providing one of the biggest moments in recent history. Into extra-time, Gareth Bale (remember THAT run), Marcelo and then Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Real completed their comeback and lifted their 10th European Cup – La Decima.

2016 – REAL MADRID (beat Atletico Madrid 5-3 on penalties in Milan)

After watching Barcelona win their fifth European Cup in 2015, Real Madrid again turned on the style to reach the final, beating Roma, Wolfsburg and along the way. In the final, they met Atletico Madrid again – and surely it couldn’t be as entertaining as two years previously? Wrong… of course it was. After a 1-1 draw in normal time (Sergio Ramos and Yannick Carrasco with the goals) the match eventually went to penalties. Juanfran missed Atletico’s fourth and it was down to – you guessed it – Cristiano Ronaldo to win it for Real. An 11th title.

2017 – REAL MADRID (beat Juventus 4-1 in Cardiff)

This time it was Atletico Madrid in the semi-final, meaning a different opponent lined up against Real for the chance to lift the trophy. Juventus, after beating Barcelona and – were the lucky opponents, but Real Madrid, and particularly Ronaldo, were in sparkling form in Cardiff. CR7 scored twice, before Casemiro and Marco Asensio wrapped up the win, ensuring Real Madrid became the first team to win back-to-back European Cups since it was renamed the Champions League in 1992.

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