The Elite Competition of Football Clubs
The Champions League final is the biggest club football match in the world, without exception. The clubs, the players and the fans have been working towards this moment all season.
Final Score: Real Madrid 3-1 vs Liverpool
The two teams to grace the pitch with huge anticipation on the 26th May 2018 will have thoroughly deserved their place at European club football’s showpiece occasion.
The Champions League final is more than a football match. It is an experience and the lead up to the match lasts all week, with different events taking place in the host city, Kiev.
Not only that but on the day of the game, there are pre-match concerts to enjoy before the famous Champions League anthem bellows out from the stadium speakers and the butterflies find their wings in the stomach of the players and fans.
The greats of the game have graced the CLF throughout the year. Players such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini, Marco van Basten, Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have graced the game. It’s a match made for the superstars of world football.
Champions League Final 2017
The final in Cardiff 2017 was billed as attack vs defence, as Real Madrid’s impressive forward line took on the steely back three of Juventus.
The atmosphere was electric inside the stadium and the tension grew to boiling point ahead of kick-off. However, the players looked focused and despite the significance of the occasion, it did not get to them as both teams created chances inside the first 20 minutes.
It was Real Madrid who took the lead, thanks to a well-worked goal finished by Cristiano Ronaldo. A spectacular overhead kick by Mario Mandzukic levelled it up for Juventus shortly after and the match was level after a breathless 45 minutes.
In the second half, Real Madrid started stretching the Juventus defence more effectively, with the creative Isco playing further up the pitch. This saw Real Madrid dominate the second half and score three goals without reply. The third goal came from Ronaldo being the killer blow for Juventus. 90 minutes has never flown by so quickly and the fans inside the stadium were left astonished at the quality of Real Madrid’s attacking play in the second half.
It was a match to savour and one befitting of the Champions League final.
An Unprecedented Hattrick for Real Madrid?
Never in the history of the Champions League has one team made it to three finals in a row, never mind go on to lift the trophy. You must go back to the mid-1970’s and the old format of the European Cup to find the last time a team made three finals in a row. That team was Bayern Munich and they completed a rare hattrick of European titles by defeating Saint Etienne 1-0 in Glasgow.
There is little doubt Real Madrid have the perfect combination of talent and experience to match Bayern Munich’s success. Cristiano Ronaldo has reinvented himself as a clinical striker and Zinedine Zidane is sure to make new, talented additions to his squad.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool
Could we have a better final than this? After the semi finals and the answer is probably not. With Ronaldo in one end and Mo Salah at the other, we can expect goals and more goals. Combine these with Asensio and Benzama for Los Blancos, Mane and Firminho for the Mighty reds, we might have a drama that emulates the CL finals in 2005.
Juventus Searching 1 Step More
Max Allegri and Juventus will be determined to make it to the final in Kiev and go one better than they did in Cardiff. Will legendary goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon have one more attempt at winning a Champions League medal?
Bayern Want Revenge
The Bayern Munich players would have been watching the Cardiff final on television, thinking what could have been. They were the one team who came closest to defeating Real Madrid and will believe they can do it in 2018, possibly at the final in Kiev.
Premier League Teams
By the time the 2018 Champions League final kicks off in Kiev, it will be six years since a Premier League team graced the most important match in club football. Antonio Conte will be aiming to take Chelsea, the last English club to win the competition, to the final. Manchester City will be looking for a significant improvement under Pep Guardiola. Tottenham Hotspur struggled last season, failing to get out of their group and it would be a shock to see them in Kiev come May 2018.
The Spanish Teams Spearing Ahead
The onus is on these clubs and the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain to step up to the challenge thrown down by the Spanish champions and knock them off their perch. Since 2013/14, a Spanish club has always reached the Champions League final and all three of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have what it takes to get to the final in Ukraine.
Expect Barcelona to come out determined to end their vicious rivals’ dominance at the top of the European game. With a new manager in place and fresh ideas, Barcelona must be considered the one team capable of overthrowing Real Madrid at the top of European football.
All Spanish Final Most Probable
If you would like to try and make a little money by betting on the 2017/18 Champions League, a bet on an all-Spanish final must be tempting. For those who like to back an outsider, how about Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United? The Portuguese has led FC Porto and Inter Milan to success in the Champions League. He was the last manager to take a team outside of Spain, Germany and England to the title.
So Why Champions league Final 2018?
One thing you can guarantee in a Champions League final, is goals. Between 2003 and 2017, there has not been a single 0-0 draw and an average of 3.28 goals have been scored. For a match of such huge significance, that’s a great record but with so many talented players on the field, it should not come as a surprise.
Whichever teams have the privilege of contesting the 2018 Champions League final, it is sure to be a massive occasion. The Champions League final is the highlight of the European football calendar and every football fan should attend it, at least once in their life-time.