Ahead of the epic clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev on May 26, we look at a few other times the European heavyweights have clashed on and off the field.
Off the field both sides clashed in the 1990s over Steve McManaman. Anfield had allowed the player’s contract run down to the final year. The new Bosman ruling ensured Madrid were at no fault when the player opted to move to Spain. Liverpool fans were hurt with the happening especially as McManaman went on to help them to two La Liga titles and two Champions League titles.
Then there was something of a repeat when Madrid came knocking again and ended up luring Michael Owen to Spain. Kopites felt betrayed but the fact that they won the Champions League that season would be enough compensation. Owen was a key player for the Reds but he couldn’t quite replicate that at the Bernabeu, and it hurt his career.
Liverpool were also able to lure Fernando Morientes in 2005 but he never quite reach the level expected of him bar a few moments of class.
On the field now, Liverpool embarrassed their counterparts in the 2008/09 season. Rafa Benitez-led side that included an inform Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, Andrea Dossena, Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano and co tore Madrid to shreds. After a 1-0 win in Spain, Benitez’s men won 4-0 at home.
Madrid were able to lure Alvaro Arbeloa and Alonso, and it hurt the Reds. The last time both sides met was in the 2013/14 season, and Madrid did beat Liverpool well especially with the surprising tactical decisions by Brendan Rodgers. Hopefully, Liverpool can shock Madrid this time. Otherwise, Madrid could go on to win their fourth Champions League title in five years.