May 26, 2018 at 7.45pm UK at ​Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex
Attendance: 61,561
Real Madrid
Benzema (51'), Bale (64', 83')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Mane (55')
Mane (82')

Live Coverage: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool - Champions League final buildup

Live Coverage: Champions League final buildup
© Offside
Sports Mole brings you live updates of the buildup to the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Kiev.

Two of European football's biggest names will compete for the Champions League trophy at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium this evening when Real Madrid take on Liverpool in Kiev.

Madrid are looking for a third successive Champions League crown - something which has not been achieved since 1976 - and a 13th title overall.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are appearing in the final for the first time since 2007 and have not lifted the trophy since their remarkable comeback in Istanbul 13 years ago.

Make sure you don't miss a moment of the buildup to the biggest match in club football courtesy of Sports Mole's live updates below.

6pmRight, it's time for me to leave you in the capable hands of my colleague Dan Lewis, who will take you through an in-depth buildup to the match and keep you abreast of every twist and turn of the game itself. You can follow that live commentary by clicking here.

5.54pmLess than two hours to go now before kickoff in the biggest game in club football - and a match which could well have a big say on the Ballon d'or this season.

Should Salah or Ronaldo lead their team to the trophy then they would surely be favourites for the award, although events at the World Cup could well change matters later this summer.

5.48pmI've mentioned that goals are perhaps the only thing guaranteed from tonight's game, but you can also count on plenty of noise from the fans. Here are the Liverpool supporters showing their love for Mohamed Salah in Kiev...

5.44pmThe most recent meeting between these two sides came in the 2014-15 Champions League campaign when they were drawn alongside each other in the group stages, although the Liverpool team that qualified for the competition was significantly weaker than the one which participated following the loss of Luis Suarez.

Real Madrid won 3-0 at Anfield and 1-0 at the Bernabeu that season, although they were their first ever wins against Liverpool.

5.36pmReal Madrid's dominance of this competition in recent years has been quite remarkable - unprecedented in the modern era - and they will once again go into tonight's final as favourites to lift the trophy.

The intriguing aspect of this final is that it features two attacking teams, though, which has not been the case in Madrid's more recent successes against Atletico Madrid twice and Juventus. Madrid scored nine goals in three finals against those sturdy defences, though, so they will fancy their chances of getting a few today.

5.24pmWe've got about 80 minutes until we find out the team news for tonight's match, and the big question facing Zidane is whether or not to start Gareth Bale.

The Welsh winger has barely featured in this season's competition, but he has hit form in recent weeks with five goals in his last four starts. The likes of Karim Benzema, Isco and Marco Asensio provide stiff competition for starting places, but on current form Bale may fancy his chances of earning a place in the team tonight.

5.11pmBack to the Champions League final now, and such a huge game deserves an extensive preview. Fortunately, we've got you covered here at Sports Mole, and you can check out our preview - complete with team news and predictions - by clicking here.

5.01pmAllow me to move away from the Champions League final for just a moment, as there is another huge match taking place today - the richest one in football, no less.

Aston Villa take on Fulham at Wembley in the Championship playoff final, and the game has just kicked off. You can followed every twist and turn with our minute-by-minute coverage here.

4.54pmThese two sides have met in the European Cup final once before, back in 1981 when Alan Kennedy was the unlikely hero for Liverpool in Paris, scoring the only goal of the game to give Bob Paisley his third Champions League trophy - an unprecedented achievement which has since only been matched by Carlo Ancelotti.

Zinedine Zidane has the chance to add his name to that exclusive list, though, and if Madrid win tonight then the Frenchman will become the first man to ever win the trophy three years in a row - not bad considering he has only been in the job for two-and-a-half years!


How are the nerves Liverpool and Real Madrid fans? Just three hours until kickoff in Kiev now, which means three hours until all of these Liverpool players play in the biggest game of their careers to date. This is such a hard game to call as it could realistically be a rout either way, or a draw, but one thing which does seem certain is goals. If both teams attempt to play their usual game - which we're hoping for and expecting tonight - then it has the potential to be one of the best finals of recent years.

4.33pmReal Madrid fans may be used to this occasion by now, but the Liverpool supporters who have travelled so long to get here are determined to make the most of it. Here are the scenes right now in Kiev...

4.21pmMo Salah has rightly stolen most of the headlines for Liverpool this season, but the influence of Roberto Firmino in particular cannot be understated. The Brazilian has been particularly brilliant in this competition, directly contributing to 17 goals in his 12 appearances...

4.16pmLiverpool also had a scare on the way to the final, needing all of their 5-2 first-leg advantage against Roma in the semis as the Italian outfit ran out 4-2 winners at the Stadio Olimpico in the return leg.

Two of Roma's goals that night came late on so the nerves weren't quite as frayed as the scoreline might suggest, but it was still not an easy passage through to this showpiece event for the Reds, who had previously overcome Manchester City and Porto in the knockout rounds.

4.00pmReal Madrid seem to have a special aura about them in this competition, particularly in recent years, and that helped them through both the quarter-finals and the semi-finals - both of which they could have quite easily lost.

It took a 97th-minute penalty from Ronaldo to prevent Juventus from taking the quarter-final to extra time following a stirring comeback at the Bernabeu, while Bayern Munich had more than enough chances to have progressed from the semi-finals, only for Madrid to scrape through on aggregate.

Liverpool may not be as wasteful tonight, so there will need to be an improved performance from the Spanish giants if they are to lift the trophy yet again.

3.50pmHere is Liverpool legend Ian Rush - aka the only Liverpool player to have scored more goals in a season than Mohamed Salah - talking about tonight's game...

3.42pmAs if Ronaldo doesn't have enough records to his name already, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is bidding to become the first player of the Champions League era to lift the trophy for a fifth time.

Others have managed the feat in the past, but never in the modern era with Ronaldo winning three titles with Madrid and one during his Manchester United days. In comparison, not a single member of the Liverpool squad has ever played in a game of this magnitude before.


3.26pmRonaldo may be the greatest goalscorer in this competition's history, but in Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane Liverpool have the greatest attacking trio in the competition's history this season.

The deadly front three have scored 29 goals between them in the Champions League this season - 10 apiece for Salah and Firmino and nine for Mane - which surpassed Real Madrid's own front three of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema from the 2013-14 campaign.

3.14pmSalah is no doubt the flavour of the month for Liverpool fans, but it is worth remembering that Real Madrid boast Ronaldo, who still remains a league above any player other than Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo is the highest goalscorer in this competition's history and also the top scorer this season alone, with his tally of 15 leaving him five clear of Salah and Firmino in the scoring stakes. Indeed, only Ronaldo himself has ever scored more goals in a single Champions League campaign.

3.09pmSpeaking of Salah, even Liverpool legends like Jamie Carragher are getting in the mix when it comes to the adoration of the 'Egyptian king'...

3.05pmTonight's match has been tipped as a direct showdown between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, the latter of whom has thrust himself into genuine Ballon d'Or contention with an incredible campaign which has seen him actually outscore Ronaldo.

Salah's 32 goals in the Premier League is the greatest ever tally in a 38-game season, which is a remarkable achievement given all the great players to have featured in that league down the years, but he still has some way to go if he is to match Ronaldo's relentless consistency.

2.54pmTonight promises to be full of goals too, with both sides renowed for their attacking ability rather than their defensive solidity, which is at odds with all of Real Madrid's recent Champions League triumphs.

Neutrals will no doubt be hoping that both teams try to fight fire with fire and attack each other from the off, but messrs Klopp and Zidane may have something else up their sleeves this evening.

2.50pmThat night in Istanbul will live long in the memories of every Liverpool fan - and indeed all neutrals - as Rafael Benitez's side pulled off the most remarkable of comebacks against one of the best club sides of the modern era.

The Milan team that evening boasted some of the greatest players of their generation - from Maldini and Nesta to Pirlo and Shevchenko or Cafu and Stam to Kaka and Seedorf - yet Liverpool somehow managed to prevail on penalties in what is widely regarded as one of the most memorable Champions League finals of all time.

2.36pmLiverpool have their own rich history in this competition too, though, and no other British club can match their haul of five European Cup/Champions League trophies.

The bulk of those came during their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, lifting the trophy in 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1984, but the most famous of the lot was their most recent in Istanbul exactly 13 years ago yesterday when they came from three goals down to beat AC Milan on penalties.

2.24pmReal Madrid are the undisputed kings of this competition. They won the trophy for the first five years of its existence, but even since then they have lifted the trophy seven times, which no other team has managed to better.

The Spanish giants are currently in their most dominant period since that golden era with Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, becoming the first team to successfully defend the Champions League title last year and tonight they are bidding for a fourth crown in the last five years.

2.15pmThe excitement is building in Kiev and around the world ahead of this evening's game, and Liverpool fans in particular have faced an arduous journey to follow their team.

From cancelled flights to more than 48 hours on a coach, the Reds have managed to descend on Kiev in large numbers despite logistical challenges and they - like Madrid - seem determined to enjoy it.

2.04pmThis is a final which pits two of European football's heavyweights against each other - England's greatest European club with five titles to their name going against the kings of the competition Real Madrid, who are remarkably looking to win the trophy for the third time in a row.

As if that historical pedigree of these two teams wasn't enough, it also features two of the best attacks in world football, so we should be guaranteed goals and an exciting game tonight - something which hasn't necessarily been expected in the buildup to the last few Champions League finals.

2pmGood afternoon! It is Champions League final day and the nerves of every Real Madrid and Liverpool fan must be wrangling with just under six hours until kickoff in Kiev.

It is a final which promises goals, excitement and drama, but which way it will go remains anyone's guess.

Stick with Sports Mole for every twist and turn in the build up the game!

Share this article now:
Virgil van Dijk in action during the Premier League game between Swansea City and Liverpool on January 22, 2018
Read Next:
Van Dijk: 'Liverpool must enjoy CL final'

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account