Champions League final tests the spirit of two powerful enemies

The clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid will pit the Spanish champions against the English runners-up in this year’s Champions League final, Europe’s most prestigious and richest football event.

It is a match between two teams with a global fan base and European football pedigree, with a combined 19 Champions League and European Cup titles between them.

In addition to prestige, champions receive huge financial rewards. Last year’s champions Chelsea were awarded €119.8 million for lifting the trophy, a sum boosted by additional royalties and sponsor bonuses. By comparison, Villarreal, who won UEFA’s second-tier Europa League last season, earned 33 million euros. The winner at the Stade de France in Paris this Saturday will also qualify for the UEFA Super Cup.

Off the pitch, financial analysts believe no club is more valuable than Real Madrid. The club has an estimated market value of 3.1 billion euros, including debt, according to Football Benchmark. By the same metric, Liverpool are fifth with a value of 2.5 billion euros.

German coach Jurgen Klopp Will coach Liverpool’s third clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League final. Under his stewardship this season, Liverpool have recorded one of the highest winning percentages in the Champions League of the past 20 years.

According to an analysis by the Financial Times, the team’s winning percentage this season is more than 2.5 times the club’s median, and only two clubs are better: Manchester City last year and the 2019-20 Bayern Munich Champions League, which they won. All 11 games. era.

In the season before Klopp joined Liverpool in 2014-15, the Reds had a Champions League winning percentage of just 0.3 times the median.

By contrast, Real Madrid have won two-thirds of their games this season, or twice the club’s median, coming back from behind in each of the last three rounds of the knockout stage. Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to be the only manager to win the competition four times. Klopp won a European title with Liverpool.

But those numbers don’t tell the whole story as teams advance to the knockout stages. While City have won the Premier League four times in the past five years, Guardiola’s side have failed to succeed in Europe.

So did French champions Paris Saint-Germain. Both clubs have invested heavily in their pursuit of European glory. According to data site Transfermarkt.com, since the 2015-16 season, Manchester City have spent more than £710m in net, while Paris Saint-Germain have spent £530m – far more than Liverpool and Real Madrid, which each spent They accounted for around £230m and £60m respectively after players sold.

Despite this outlay and continued success at home, both Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain appear to have overcome the last psychological hurdle in their competition for Europe’s elite.

Klopp often refers to his Liverpool players as “mental monsters” because of their fighting spirit, but in this season’s Champions League, there was one team that showed the ability to save defeat first: Real Madrid.

Graph showing Real Madrid and Liverpool in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Liverpool are not behind in any of their knockout games, while Real Madrid have to be behind in every one of their knockout games. Including 90 minutes of regular football in the second leg in the semi-final against Manchester City by two goals.

The Spanish champions have fallen behind in each of their Champions League knockout games, but have come back on three straight, sometimes with just minutes left.

The first was against Paris Saint-Germain, then defending champions Chelsea, who won a thrilling 6-5 aggregate win over Manchester City in the semi-finals, trailing two goals after 89 minutes but still winning.

This season’s achievements and a trophy-laden past – they have topped their previous seven Champions League finals – mean few doubt Real Madrid’s winning mentality.

Data Visualization by Steven Bernard

Source link