Champions League final 2022 Liverpool vs Real Madrid online preview: updates, team news
2022 Champions League final: live updates
2022 Champions League final: Updates and latest team news
Benzema didn't appear in the press conference because he thinks it's "unlucky"
Ancelotti takes full 26-man squad to Paris for the final
Fabinho returns to training ahead of UCL final
Mané not seeking revenge for 2018 final defeat
Toni Kroos: "Liverpool are stronger than they were in 2018"
Other related stories and interviews:
Liverpool victory parade on Sunday - regardless of Paris result
Liverpool will be going on an open-top bus victory parade through the southern and central parts of the city on Sunday - regardless of whether they win or lose against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
The Reds won both domestic cups this season - the EFL Carabao Cup and FA Cup, and will be celebrating those victories on the street with the fans. Klopp would love to have Ol' Big Ears with them on the bus as well as the ultimate bonus.
Ahead of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, AS sat down with Rafa Benítez, a man who has coached both teams. At his home in West Kirby, close to Liverpool, we talked to Benítez about the Paris clash between his former clubs; about his short spell this season at Everton, the Reds’ Merseyside rivals; and about football in general.
Preparations at Cibeles
Preparations are underway at Plaza de Cibeles, Real Madrid's traditional celebration point should Carlo Ancelotti's team prevail in Paris. Crowd control barriers are ready to be assembled as huge numbers of fans will gather later on Saturday to wait for the team if Madrid win. Not a cloud in sight - it's a beautiful sunny day in Madrid.
... Predrag Mijatovic, whose winner delivered La Séptima for Real Madrid in '98 and Luis Figo.
Some familiar faces at the UEFA Champions League final dinner last night - 'The King', Kenny Dalglish, a three-time winner with Liverpool.
Real Madrid captain Marcelo joined Thibaut Courtois and Carlo Ancelotti in taking questions from the press ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final. For the Brazilian left-back, who joined Madrid as a teenager in 2007, the final against Liverpool will be his last game for the club although it’s unlikely that we will see him out on the pitch at Stade de France.
Carlo Ancelotti believes the weight of history behind Real Madrid has pushed Los Blancos to another Champions League final. Liverpool stand in the way of a 14th triumph at the highest level in Europe for Madrid, who have not lost in the final of the competition since defeat to the Reds in Paris in 1981.
Karim Benzema (left), Dani Ceballos (centre) and Luka Modric go through their paces during Real Madrid's pre-Champions League final training session at the Stade de France.
(Photo by Antonio Villalba/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
Liverpool have developed a lot since 2018 UCL final - Henderson
Liverpool's in-house media team have spoken to some of Jürgen Klopp's players as the Reds prepare to take on Real Madrid in the French capital.
“We’ve developed a lot as a team in the four years [since the 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid],” captain Jordan Henderson says.
“We’ve had some difficult moments that we’ve come back from and we’ve had some really special moments together. We want to create as much history as possible, win as many trophies as possible. We’ve got another big opportunity on Saturday to do that.”
Getting their eye in
Real Madrid have shared this footage of the players taking part in a bit of target practice at the Stade de France on Friday evening. Some decent pings in there, it must be said...
In his daily column, AS honorary president Alfredo Relaño talks about a recent radio interview with Real Madrid legends Fernando Hierro and José Antonio Camacho, the latter of which played in Los Blancos' 1981 European Cup final defeat to Liverpool.
Real Madrid's early evening workout at Stade de France
Liverpool trained at Stade de France this afternoon and it was Real Madrid's turn this evening.
Jürgen Klopp says it’s been a learning process for him and his players and it is all starting to come together for Liverpool: “The club is in a good place. Right now, the boys are exactly the right players for this club”.
"To even be in with a chance of winning a second Champions League title, at this young age, is special for me - as it is for everyone. There have been many, many legends of the game that haven't had these opportunities so to be here is a privilege for but, I think, it goes without saying that we've got a world class opponent standing in our way tomorrow as a team so, we need to be all at it to be even come close to lifting that trophy again".
Thiago and Fabinho complete Friday's session
Thiago and Fabinho, two players who were earmarked as doubtful for Saturday's final trained as normal at Stade de France on Friday afternoon. Neither appeared to have any issues during the 15 minutes allocated to the media - neither did Virgil van Dijk, who was also a concern in the days running up to the game.
Final training session and tactical talk from the boss
The Liverpool squad were put through their paces in what will be their final training session before Saturday's Champions League final. In total, 25 players took part in the session at Stade de France, as the Reds familiarise themselves with the stage for tomorrow's game.
"This group of players is very special, it's the best I've ever had. We grew together. They are fantastic people. They are young but in the future, it will be a joy to follow what they are doing because they are so smart. We are really blessed that we brought them all together. It's a very open group - other players can join us, and some will leave us but the core will stay and together, with the people at Liverpool, we are quite powerful. I know it's a cliché, but it feels like a family".
"If Camavinga wants to be a No.6, he'll need to make sacrifices"
Eduardo Camavinga is viewed as the player who will eventually succeed Casemiro at the heart of Real Madrid's midfield but as his mentor told El País there will be a lot of selfless hard work involved between now and then.
"Camavinga has to decide whether he wants to play as a No.8 or a No.6. If he wants to be a No.6, he will need to make sacrifices for everyone else, he will need to support his team mates," Casemiro said. "That mens sacrificing himself and not being in the limelight. A lot of players just want to score goals, give assists and play pretty football. But a holding midfielder, especially at Madrid, has to sacrifice himself, help his help mates, steal balls back, cover gaps at the back… Sometimes people don't see that. A midfielder has to make more sacrifices than the rest".
"I always have a good feeling whenever Real Madrid play a final. I always see Madrid as the favourites, although this Liverpool is better than the one that played the last final. I'm really looking forward to this game".
According to a report compiled by the European Elite 2022, Real Madrid is valued at €3.184 billion, topping a list of the 32 most powerful clubs with Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool in the top five.
Liverpool are slight favourites with the bookies to beat Real Madrid in Paris but history weighs against Jürgen Klopp... We take a look at the betting odds for the final.
Toni Kroos spoke about Cristiano’s departure and Gareth Bale’s drop in form as well as what recent arrivals Vinicius and Rodrygo have brought to the team.
Agustín, Madrid keeper in '81 final still has Clemence's shirt
Agustín Rodríguez was just 21 years old when he guarded the net for Real Madrid against Liverpool in the 1981 final in Paris. He was Castilla's goalkeeper, and only drafted into the side because the first-choice keeper Mariano García Remón had suffered a knee injury in a league game at Salamanca the previous month.
While the game didn't turn out how he would have liked and said for years he could not bring himself to watch it, Agustín did get a prized memento - he swapped shirts with Ray Clemence on the final whistle. It turned out to be Clemence's last game for Liverpool - he joined Spurs a few weeks later, after making 665 appearances for the Reds.
Sadly, Ray, Liverpool's greatest goalkeeper of all-time, passed away in November 2020, aged 72.
Kennedy winner prompted García Cortés to throw video out of window
Rafa García Cortés, the Real Madrid defender who Alan Kennedy shimmied past before rifling in the winning goal in the 1981 final had set his video recorder at home in Spain to record the game for posterity. But he recalled that he was so angry with himself that when he got home to Madrid, he threw the video tape out of the window.
Years later, García Cortés was given a video tape recording of the game by Sammy Lee, in midfield for Liverpool that day but who ended up at Osasuna with Michael Robinson.
I wasn't really involved in any of the moves and I thought, I wasn't bored but I felt as though that I needed to do something. I was standing in my own half, and Phil Thompson was to my right. I looked at Phil and said, 'I'm off, I'm going' and I just ran. Ray Kennedy is on the left-hand side, he's got the ball in his hand and Dalglish was short; I think Souness was round about there as well. And Ray Kennedy has a long throw-in - I knew this. He's arched his back and thrown the ball in long. It was a great throw, wonderful. I had to time my run. I chested it down and then it bounced up. I'm moving forward at such a pace that one of their defenders backs off. Then the other one comes in to take me out. I think the guy's name was [Garcia] Cortés. He comes in and if I went down, it would have been a penalty but Bob Paisley said, 'Always stay on your feet, if you can'. So I've gone past him and the goalkeeper's hesitating - he's looking at what his angle is - is he going to show me the near post, or give me the cchance to cross it. He didn't make his mind up at the time but David Johnson was out the corner of my eye - in a position where I could easily pass the ball to him, and he would have slotted it in. Anyway, I thought, I'm going to give this a go. I just let fly from 10 yards, an acute angle. I could see it heading towards the post and I thought. 'Please just miss the post...' It came just inside the post and hit the far stantion. And I thought, 'Woah! Yes! That'll do me'. I was running away to all the fans and then Terry McDermott and David Johnson came over. I think they congratulated me... I think one of the comments was, 'Did you mean it?' to which I replied, 'Of course I did, of course I did'. Bob Paisley said, 'Tell the press you meant it'.
AS caught up with Vicente del Bosque who was part of the Real Madrid side that lost the 1981 final to Liverpool in Paris - the last time Madrid lost a European final.
Three-time Grammy nominee Camila Cabello will perform at Paris’ Stade de France on Saturday, as part of the pre-match entertainment ahead of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
Liverpool en route to Paris
The Liverpool squad set off from JLA just after midday on Friday - arriving in Paris a day later than Real Madrid. The players and manager Jürgen Klopp looked relaxed and in good spirits as they boarded their charter flight for the 90-minute journey.
Fernando Morientes, one of a select group of players to have starred in four Champions League finals, looks back on his time at Real Madrid and Liverpool and explains why he feels he played a role in helping Rafa Benitez's Reds to triumph in Istanbul in 2005.
Superstitious Benzema passes up pre-match press conference
Karim Benzema won't face the media in the pre-match press conference. According to Spanish journalist Miguel Ángel Díaz, the striker attended the press before Madrid's 1-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes in the Last 16 and believes it brought him bad luck, so he will be giving it a miss this time.
Liverpool airport festooned with banners
Around 2,500 Liverpool supporters set off for Paris from Speke's John Lennon airport this morning. The departures lounge was decked out in red and white with banners and balloons to give them a good send-off.
Good morning and welcome to our live blog as we build up to Saturday's Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Stade de France, Paris.
Both teams have now arrived in the French capital and are settled in at their hotels. Carlo Ancelotti named a 26-man squad for the trip. Real Madrid will be staying at the five-star Auberge du Jeu de Paume in Chantilly.
The Liverpool squad were all smiles as they set off from John Lennon airport at midday on Friday.
Supporters from both clubs meanwhile have been enjoying the fan zones and taking in the sights of Paris. Liverpool's fan zone is located on Cours de Vincennes, 10km from the stadium while Madrid supporters have been congregating at Parc de la Légion d'Honneur.
We will be bringing you all of the latest updates, injury news, interviews and more between now and kick-off on Saturday.