Liverpool take on holders Real Madrid in the Champions League final tonight in Kiev, and despite coming in as underdogs, manager Jurgen Klopp has warned that they can “go for the big things”.
Real are looking to lift the trophy for a third successive season and 13th overall, while the Reds, who entered in the play-off round, will be crowned champions of Europe for a sixth time if they win.
“Nobody expected us to be here, but we are because we are Liverpool,” Klopp said in a pre-match press conference.
A journey which began with playoff victory over Hoffenheim could end in Champions League glory in Kiev tonight, heralding a new era for the club after the Klopp revolution.
In contrast, Zinedine Zidane has won one La Liga title and two Champions Leagues since he was appointed Real boss in January 2016, and Los Blancos now look to be the first side since Bayern Munich to win the European Cup for three straight seasons.
But Zidane denied his side were favourites against Liverpool.
“We will not live this moment again. We have to make the most of it,” he said.
“We have the same chance as Liverpool. Favourites? In the dressing room that is not what we believe.”
Klopp, meanwhile, will be hoping it is a case of third time lucky for Liverpool, with the Reds having reached two finals under him – they lost in the 2016 League Cup showpiece to Manchester City on penalties, before going down to Sevilla three months later.
Real have multiple European Cup winners in their side, with Ronaldo seeking to become the first player to win the competition five times in the Champions League era.
“He lives for these matches, to play in these matches,” added Zidane. “That’s what his life is all about. That’s what makes him tick.”
There’s a vast contrast between the sides in terms of experience as 17 Real Madrid players have played in the Champions League final, while Liverpool have just one who was on the bench and didn’t even play a minute.
As the clock winds down to tonight’s big clash, Real will fancy their chances for another trophy as they boast the better side and the better experience.
But Liverpool have shown this season that they can take on all comers…and another madcap night of European football could see the Reds leave the Spaniards stunned.