The wait is nearly over as Real Madrid and Liverpool compete in the final of the European Cup – for the first time since 1981 – in a mouth-watering match that will decide who will be awarded the coveted Champions League trophy.
The defending champions and 12-time winners Real are bidding for their third successive title while Liverpool are seeking the sixth in their history.Find out what the likes of Steven Gerrard, Vicente del Bosque and Kenny Dalglish are predicting ahead of tonight’s final.
Steven Gerrard, 2005 UEFA Champions League-winning captain with Liverpool: “I think we’ve got a really good chance. I wouldn’t say on current form we’re going into the game as underdogs. But, I suppose, they will want to go in as underdogs because it takes a little bit of pressure off.”
Watch all of Cristiano Ronaldo’s final goals
Vicente del Bosque, former Madrid coach and player: “Real Madrid have a great squad and they’re the best club in Europe right now – they have to show that on Saturday. Real Madrid will beat Liverpool 4-1.”
Kenny Dalglish, three-time European Cup winner with Liverpool: “When it’s a one-off game, I think it gives the opposition a better chance. Real Madrid are no novices; they are going for 13 [Champions League wins]. They have got an aura about them, but you aren’t playing the aura, you are playing the team.”
Manuel Sanchís, two-time UEFA Champions League winner with Madrid: “I do believe that this one seems like the least difficult of all [Madrid’s recent finals]. While it’s true that Real Madrid are maybe slightly above Liverpool, this is a final and anything can happen.”
Luis García gives his final prediction
Luis García, 2005 UEFA Champions League winner with Liverpool: “It’s not going to be easy for Liverpool as Real Madrid are one of those teams who are difficult to beat. But I’m confident, so I’m going to go 2-1 for Liverpool.”
Steve McManaman, ex-Madrid and Liverpool winger: “Liverpool just look stronger and quicker – I take them to win a high-scoring match.”
Ryan Giggs, UEFA Champions League winner in 1999 and 2008: “Probably Real Madrid, just because of their experience and the players that they’ve got. A lot of Liverpool’s success this year in the Champions League has come from being at Anfield.”
Jamie Redknapp, former Liverpool midfielder: “If Liverpool blew Real Madrid away, it wouldn’t surprise me, it really wouldn’t. Because of the strike force they’ve got and sometimes the way that Real Madrid defend.”
Phil Thompson, former Liverpool captain and assistant manager: “We seem to turn up big time in high-profile games. Prediction: Liverpool win; Salah, Mané, Firmino and Bale all score.”
Bruce Grobbelaar, 1984 European Cup winner with Liverpool: “I predict that there will be goals, and we will score, no doubt about it. It’s about how much we concede, but I’m going to go with 3-1 to Liverpool.”
Brazil legend Cafu shares his final verdict
Michael Owen, former Liverpool and Madrid striker: “I find it really hard to predict. I know people will have Real Madrid down as the favourites, but I think it is a toss of a coin.”
John Toshack, former Liverpool striker and Madrid coach: “My heart tells me Liverpool, but my head says Madrid. When you look at the attacking potential of both sides, it seems impossible that we won’t witness anything that’s not spectacular.”
Mark Lawrenson, 1984 European Cup winner with Liverpool: “[The deciding factor] is often the team, and team spirit. It’s one of the reasons why I have a sneaky feeling for Liverpool, because Jürgen Klopp has built such a strong dressing room.”
Royston Drenthe, ex-Madrid player and cousin of Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum: “Liverpool are in great form, but they still play against Real Madrid, and they have to respect that. No matter what big club you play for, you still play against Real Madrid – and those games you just do not win easily.”
Who is Dua Lipa backing in the big game?
Dua Lipa, who will be performing at the opening ceremony: “Madrid 2-3 Liverpool. It’s a tough call, but I am British so I am going to have to go for Liverpool.”
Danny Murphy, former Liverpool midfielder: “I’m trying to underplay it, but they’ve got a hell of a chance. I don’t see Real Madrid play and not concede lots of chances. I think it’s meant to be. There’s something about this Liverpool side and the way they play.”
The Source of this information is from UEFA official website.