The dramatic 2018/2019 UEFA Champions League trophy will be heading to England, with Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool fighting to be king of Europe club football. The battle takes place this night at the Estadio Metropolitano, which is the home ground of Atlético Madrid
Liverpool will be aiming to win their sixth UCL title. The last they won was on that memorable night in 2005, when they came back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties. They have since appeared in two UCL finals but lost in 2007 to AC Milan, and in 2018 to Real Madrid.
Tottenham Hotspurs on their part partake in the last fight for Europe’s club glory for the first time ever.
Both teams got to the final after miraculous semi-final comebacks: Liverpool overturning a 3-0 first leg loss against FC Barcelona to win 4-0 in the second leg, and Tottenham Hotspurs also recording a comeback, which included a last minute goal, to defeat Ajax Amsterdam. They had lost the first leg 1-0, and were 2-0 down in the first half of the second leg, but Lucas Moura needed the second forty-five minutes to turn the table around, scoring a hat-trick to seal a place in Madrid, setting up the second all-English final in the Champions League history
There are however some memorable facts to record about the UEFA Champions League final
1. This will be the 26th UEFA Champions League Final since the competition changed from the European Cup in 1992.
2. The UEFA Champions League final is the most watched annual sporting event in the world. The 2013 final that featured Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Wembley, England was aired in more than 200 countries with 360 million TV viewers, which included a record of 23,78 million viewers in Germany.
3. A total of 22 clubs have won the Champions League/European Cup. If Tottenham Hotspurs wins tonight, they would be the 23rd name on the Champions League trophy. Real Madrid are the highest winners, haven won the competition 13 times, including the inaugural competition.
4. This is the seventh final since 2000 involving two clubs from the same country. Real Madrid were victorious in all-Spanish affairs in 2000 against Valencia, 2014 and 2016 both against Atlético Madrid while AC Milan beat fellow Italian side Juventus on penalties in 2003 and Bayern München overcame Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 all-German final.
5. This is the second all-English final ever, the first was in 2008 between Manchester United and Chelsea.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo remains the first player to score a goal in three UCL finals – in 2008 for Manchester United, and in 2014 and 2017 for Real Madrid. He is also the only player that scored in two different UCL finals with two different teams.
7. Clarence Seedorf is the only player to win the trophy with three different clubs – Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998), and Milan (2003 and 2007).
8. The quickest goal in a UEFA Champions League final was scored in 51 seconds by Paolo Maldini in 2005.
9. No player has ever scored a hat-trick (three goals) in the UEFA Champions League final. The highest so far remains two goals from a player, and so far, they are Daniele Massaro, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Hernán Crespo, Filippo Inzaghi, Diego Milito and Cristiano Ronaldo
10. Tottenham are now the eighth English club to appear in a European Cup final, more than any other country; Italy and Germany are next on the list with six each.
11. In total Tottenham and Liverpool have met 170 times in all competitions, the Reds winning 79 to Spurs’ 48; there have been 43 draws.
12. UEFA retails the original trophy at all times, but any team that wins three times in a row or five years overall gets the right to retain a full-sized replica. This honour is so far earned by six clubs – Real Madrid, AC Milan, Liverpool, Ajax, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona. The trophy weighs 7,5kg, which equals roughly to 17 footballs.