How Liverpool and Real Madrid compare ahead of the Champions League final

The Reds meet Real in Paris on Saturday in a repeat of the 2018 final.

By Press Association Published: 28 May 2022 - 3.35pm

Liverpool take on Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final - which you can watch exclusively live on BT Sport - with both sides looking to add to their impressive history in the tournament.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how the teams compare ahead of the clash at the Stade de France in Paris.

Dominant duo

Real Madrid celebrate with the trophy after the 2018 Champions League final
Real Madrid are 13-time European champions (Nick Potts/PA)

Liverpool and Real Madrid have been crowned champions of Europe on a staggering 19 occasions between them.

Real are the tournament’s specialists, winning 13 titles, while Liverpool are six-time winners.

Real also hold the superior record in the Champions League era with seven wins to Liverpool’s two, reaching eight finals compared to the Reds’ five and 15 semi-finals to six.

Carlo Ancelotti’s squad is far more experienced in the competition than Jurgen Klopp’s, with five players boasting more than 100 appearances (Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, David Alaba, and Marcelo). Thiago leads the way for Liverpool on 74 matches.

The Champions League brings out the best in both teams, even when they are not on top domestically.

As was the case in 2019, Liverpool could become European champions on Saturday despite losing out on the Premier League to Manchester City.

Since 1992, when the European Cup was renamed the Champions League, the Reds have reached five finals including this weekend’s showpiece, the most among English clubs. Manchester United are next with four and, over the same period, have 13 Premier League titles to Liverpool’s one.

Real Madrid, who were crowned Spanish champions last month, are in their eighth final since 1992, almost twice as many as their domestic rivals Barcelona (five) despite Barca winning 14 league titles to Real’s 10. This is only their second final to come in the same season as a LaLiga triumph, after 2016-17.

Paris previous

Both teams have won the competition in Paris before.

Real won the first-ever European Cup final at the nearby Parc des Princes in 1956, while Liverpool defeated Real 1-0 at the same stadium to win the tournament in 1981. Full-back Alan Kennedy scored the only goal on that day, as the Reds secured a third European Cup under Bob Paisley.

Real lifted a second title in the French capital in 2000, when Los Blancos beat Valencia 3-0 in a final played at this year’s venue, the Stade de France. Ex-Liverpool winger Steve McManaman was on the scoresheet.

Leggy Liverpool?

James Milner carries the Carabao Cup and FA Cup as Liverpool thank their fans after the Premier League match against Wolves
Liverpool’s long season came up just short of perfection (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool go into this year’s final having played every match they possibly could have this season, a total of 63 to Real’s 56 including the game on Saturday.

The quadruple dream ended when City came out on top by a solitary point over 38 Premier League games, though Klopp’s cup double winners edged their FA Cup semi-final meeting with Pep Guardiola’s men last month to ensure they would play all six matches in that competition – the same as in the Carabao Cup for a domestic total of 50.

Another dozen have come in Europe, where they won six from six in a group featuring Atletico Madrid, Porto and AC Milan before two-leg victories over Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal.

Real lost in the Copa del Rey quarter-final, have no second domestic cup and had a more relaxed title run-in, though they did play two games in the Spanish Super Cup. They have also played four periods of extra time, compared to Liverpool’s two in cup finals against Chelsea.

All in all, Liverpool have played an extra 570 minutes of football over the season, 5,640 minutes excluding stoppage time to Real’s 5,070.

Mohamed Salah, left, and Sadio Mane celebrates Liverpool's FA Cup win
Mohamed Salah, left, and Sadio Mane have racked up playing time with club and country (Nick Potts/PA)

Klopp has rotated his squad in recent weeks to cope with the high workload, with 11 first-team regulars having played the equivalent of a full league season over the course of the campaign (3,420 minutes). Only six Real players have reached the same threshold.

Several of the Reds’ key men have also faced extensive international commitments.

Mohamed Salah, for example, has seen his prolific scoring form decline since his involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations – where four straight extra-time periods for Egypt left him averaging 107 minutes for his seven appearances in the tournament and racking up 5,276 minutes for club and country with the final game of the season remaining.

Fellow Cup of Nations finalist Sadio Mane is close behind on 5,089 while Colombia winger Luis Diaz has played over 4,800 minutes – including 180 against the Reds prior to his January move from Porto.

(PA graphic)
(PA graphic)

Real’s star striker Karim Benzema, by contrast, has played 4,306 minutes – significantly less than Liverpool’s front three and almost 1,000 minutes fewer than Salah.

The Frenchman has averaged more than a goal every 90 minutes and another in the final would be his 50th of the season – while two would see him match Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of 17 in a Champions League campaign.

BT Sport Monthly Pass

Join the home of live sport for just £25 per month. Get instant access to the BT Sport app, with no contract and no BT broadband required.