Liverpool will be looking to clinch their sixth Champions League title as they take on the first-time finalists Tottenham Hotspur in an all-English final – a first at the top tier European club competition since 2008 – in the Spanish capital.
Both sides will be backed by 17,000 supporters each, according to UEFA, when the match gets under way at 10pm local time on Saturday in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium, while thousands more are expected to fill the 68,000 capacity venue.
Five-time champions Liverpool overcame a 3-0 first-leg deficit to defeat Spanish giant Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in the semifinals and reach the championship match for the second consecutive year.
“This year we learned a lot,” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said at a press conference on Friday. “We are a completely different side to last year, so the final was not too important for our improvement; the final was like a starting point again for the next steps. That’s how we saw it, that’s how we wanted to use it, and that’s what we did.
Meanwhile, the Spurs’ route to its maiden final also saw a dramatic comeback win over Dutch side Ajax 3-3 on away goals.
“The moment you get to the final, it’s about winning the final,” Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said. “We trust in ourselves.”
Madrid is hosting its fifth elite final with the previous four in the city held at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
On the eve of the match, Spanish police said they detained four British citizens for alleged assault, including against officers.
Spanish authorities deployed unprecedented security measures after reports of major problems in the capital, with more than 4,700 security personnel from several security areas involved in the operation.