Liverpool v Real Madrid: How do the Champions League finalists compare?

Liverpool players celebrate reaching the Champions League final after beating Roma on aggregate
Liverpool players celebrate reaching the Champions League final after beating Roma on aggregate

Liverpool have reached their eighth European Cup final where they will face Real Madrid in a repeat of the 1981 showpiece, which the Reds won 1-0.

But this time, they face a team who have the most victories in the competition and have won three of the past four Champions League titles.

So how do the two teams, their managers and their players compare?

Who does European history favour?

Liverpool's five European Cup wins from seven appearances mean they are the most successful English team in the competition's history, but current holders and 12-time winners Real have been victorious in their past six Champions League finals.

Since winning the German Cup with Borussia Dortmund in 2012, Jurgen Klopp has lost two German Cups, a 2013 Champions League final against Bayern Munich, and the 2016 League Cup and Europa League finals with Liverpool.

By contrast, Real boss Zinedine Zidane has won all six major finals his team have contested - two Champions League finals (2016 and 2017), two Uefa Super Cups and two Fifa Club World Cups.

Liverpool fans may choose to focus on their previous record against Real, however. In addition to the 1981 final win, victories have also come in the Champions League knockout stages in 2008-09, although there were two group-stage defeats in 2014-15.

How do the attacks compare this season?

Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Cristiano Ronaldo have 35 Champions League goals between them this season
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Cristiano Ronaldo have 35 Champions League goals between them this season

Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the leading scorer in this season's Champions League, but Liverpool have shared the goalscoring load, with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane chipping in with 29 goals combined.

That makes them the highest scoring trio for a club in a single season, overtaking Madrid's Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, who managed 28 between them in 2013-14.

Salah, Firmino and Mane have been in destructive form this season, scoring and assisting 127 goals between them in all competitions.

That compares favourably to Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, who have managed 91 goals and assists this term.

What about the main strikers?

Mo Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo

Salah, who joined Liverpool from Roma for £34m last summer, has been a revelation this season scoring 43 goals in all competitions, with some commentators suggesting he should be up there with Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the reckoning for this year's Ballon d'Or.

But the 25-year-old Egyptian has plenty of catching up to do to reach Ronaldo's formidable Champions League total of 120, which makes him the competition's leading scorer.

Value versus experience

Mo Salah is valued at £148m by CIES Football Observatory, £54m more than four-time Champions League winner Ronaldo
Salah is valued at £148m by CIES Football Observatory, £54m more than four-time Champions League winner Ronaldo

Salah's improvement this season has seen his transfer value rocket, according to the CIES Football Observatory, who rate him at £148m, making him the most valuable player on either team.

Ronaldo's corresponding value takes into account his greater age, at 33.

The value of the Liverpool and Real squads is based on the 18 players selected for their respective semi-final second legs this week.

Global reach

Social media might not matter on the pitch come 26 May, but a 13th Champions League title for Real would be well-received among their huge global fan base.

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