The Champions League trophy is the holy grail of European football. The best teams on the continent are judged by their performance in the competition. One team that seems to have an affinity for the competition is Liverpool. The Merseysider’s have the chance to win the European Cup for the sixth time this evening when they face Tottenham in Madrid.
An extraordinary season
A steady building of the team from wily boss Jurgen Klopp and the people in charge of recruitment for the Reds led their extraordinary campaign this season. The Reds garnered 97 points from their Premier League campaign, suffering just one defeat.
However, it was not good enough to finish as champions, as reigning champions Manchester City pipped Klopp’s team to the title by one meagre point. Finishing as runners-up was not much consolation for the boss, team or indeed the fans.
Despite their brilliant campaign, the team need to lift the Champions League trophy to give their claims of being a great team credence.
Question marks over the boss
It seems unfair that a boss such as Jurgen Klopp has question marks his ability to win trophies. However, there are question marks over the German’s ability to manage a team over the finish line.
One of the main reasons for the question marks over Klopp is the fact that as a boss he has lost his last six major finals. Two of those finals’ defeats have been in the Champions League, one with Dortmund and one with Liverpool.
However, the former Mainz boss claimed numerous trophies during his time with former club Dortmund. He even managed to break the domestic dominance of Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, which is no mean feat.
Despite his success in his homeland with BVB. Klopp is yet to win silverware with Liverpool in his three-and-a-bit years with the Reds. The German will be confident of ending that losing run on Saturday night at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Liverpool are the favourites
Liverpool heads into this clash as favourites to lift the trophy against Tottenham. Last season they headed into the final as underdogs against Spanish giants Real Madrid, who like the Merseysider’s have a special affinity for the competition.
On paper, Liverpool are a far better team than Tottenham. The Reds finished 26 points ahead of their north London opponents in the Premier League table. Considering that Spurs finished fourth place in the table that is a crazy amount of points difference.
Man for man, Liverpool have the edge of over Mauricio Pochettino’s team. However, Spurs have shown their resilience in this competition in previous rounds, most notably in the away legs at Manchester City and Ajax.
This is also a cup final when anything can happen and Tottenham do not lack quality either. Pochettino’s side will be quietly confident that they can upset the odds and win the trophy for the first time in their history.
For Liverpool, their extraordinary season will amount to very little if they do not crown the campaign with a trophy. If they win, they will go down as heroes. If they lose then they will have the label of ‘bottlers’ thrown on them, which would be unfair on a very good team with some top players.
Will Liverpool end the season by lifting the Champions League trophy?