Real Madrid

  • ‘He spends a lot of time on his bum now’...

    Liverpool should not fret over the menace posed by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final, according to club legend Graeme Souness. The Reds will do battle with the 12-time European champions in Kiev on Saturday for the crown, but Souness does not believe ...

    ‘He spends a lot of time on his bum now’ – Souness says Ronaldo is past his best

    Liverpool should not fret over the menace posed by Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League final, according to club legend Graeme Souness. The Reds will do battle with the 12-time European champions in Kiev on Saturday for the crown, but Souness does not believe that the Portuguese offers the same threat as he once did. It has been billed as an encounter between the Portuguese and Liverpool ace Mohamed Salah, who managed 42 strikes for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season. But Ronaldo, a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, is coming off his joint poorest La Liga campaign in terms of goal scoring since arriving at the club in 2009, despite netting 26 times in 27 matches, and the Scotsman has suggested that he is past his best. “He spends a lot of time on his bum now, complaining he’s been fouled, and plays the width of the box,” Souness argued to The Times. “He’s still capable of great things but, like Real, nowhere near where he was even 12 months ago.” Ronaldo, though, has been a specialist in the Champions League over the years and is the competition’s record marksman. This season, he has scored 15 times in 12 outings, though was held to a blank by Bayern Munich in the semi-finals – the first matches he had failed to score in after notching in 14 of his previous 15 in the competition, including 11 in succession. Indeed, if he were to score a hat-trick against Liverpool, he would break his own record for goals in a Champions League season, having previously accumulated 17 in the 2013-14 campaign. It is a competition that he has won on four previous occasions, including three with Real Madrid, who are seeking to defend the trophy for a second successive occasion, attempting to be the first team to do so since Bayern Munich from 1974-76. Souness won three European Cups with Liverpool between 1978 and 1984, while he turned out for the Reds on 359 occasions. He later became their manager, winning the 1991-92 FA Cup.

  • Every Champions League winner & who ...

    Real Madrid and Liverpool will contest the Champions League final this weekend. Real progressed to the final by virtue of a thrilling 4-3 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich, while Liverpool defeated Roma 7-6 in one of the most entertaining two-legged ties in recent memory. Th...

    Every Champions League winner & who has won the cup the most times in history?

    Real Madrid and Liverpool will contest the Champions League final this weekend. Real progressed to the final by virtue of a thrilling 4-3 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich, while Liverpool defeated Roma 7-6 in one of the most entertaining two-legged ties in recent memory. The two clubs have a storied history in European competition, but which clubs have won the most trophies on the continent? Who has won the Champions League & European Cup the most times? Real Madrid have won 12 European Cups and Champions Leagues, winning their first in 1956 and their most recent in 2017. They are gunning for their third straight win. Milan come in second with seven victories, while Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Liverpool all have five. A total of 22 teams have won the competition since its inception in the 1955-56 season. Every Champions League final and European Cup winner  

  • 'Seize the moment!' - Gerrard sends spec...

    Steven Gerrard has passed on a special message to Liverpool squad ahead of their meeting with Real Madrid, encouraging them to "go and deliver" and win the Champions League. The current Rangers boss won Europe's biggest prize with the Reds back in 2005 following an incredible pe...

    'Seize the moment!' - Gerrard sends special message to Liverpool squad ahead of Madrid clash

    Steven Gerrard has passed on a special message to Liverpool squad ahead of their meeting with Real Madrid, encouraging them to "go and deliver" and win the Champions League. The current Rangers boss won Europe's biggest prize with the Reds back in 2005 following an incredible penalty shootout win over AC Milan. Gerrard, seen as the main inspiration that day to help his side recover from a three-goal half-time deficit, has drawn on his past experiences to urge Jurgen Klopp's current crop of finalists to "seize the moment" and make history. He told the club's official website: "These players have an opportunity to not just change their careers but their lives in general. They are the moments that you dream of. "My message to the players would be: go and grasp it, go and seize the moment you have worked so hard for. Go and reward yourselves for the journey you have taken this club on. "You’ve got to go in with the belief and confidence; you have come this far. You’ve got to handle the responsibility of being a Liverpool player and you’ve got to go and deliver. "You’ll get plaudits and praise for getting where you are but not many people remember it if you don’t get over the line and deliver. I’m still really good friends with ex-team-mates in that team that I played with and I know what it would mean for them. I just hope they go and do it. "It’s important that they try to blank it [the hype around the game] out if they can. It’s difficult but just make sure your preparation is spot-on, you get your sleep and the right food, and everything goes well. It’s tough, because of the magnitude of the game: it’s the biggest game you’ll play in as a Liverpool player." Klopp's side defeated Roma 7-6 on aggregate to book their place in the Kiev final, while they have scored an impressive 40 goals in the competition (excluding play-off matches) this season, 10 more than Madrid. And, when asked what had impressed him post about the run to the final, Gerrard added: "The style they have done it in – the amount of goals they have scored, the quality of the goals, the movement. When we did it under Rafa [Benitez], with all due respect some games we had to grind, a lot of games we had to suffer in and just get over the line. "Our strength was mental strength, we never felt we were beaten and you had to work extremely hard to get anything out of us. This team still has the mental toughness but on the eye they look superb. "Everyone is thinking: ‘Liverpool deserve this’. They have looked the best, they have done it in style and, being a Liverpool fan, it has been brilliant to be part of."

  • Liverpool youngster Alexander-Arnold not...

    Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold insists that he is not intimidated by the prospect of marking Cristiano Ronaldo in the upcoming Champions League final. Alexander-Arnold seems certain to start for Liverpool against Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday, as the Reds aim to en...

    Liverpool youngster Alexander-Arnold not overwhelmed by facing Ronaldo

    Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold insists that he is not intimidated by the prospect of marking Cristiano Ronaldo in the upcoming Champions League final. Alexander-Arnold seems certain to start for Liverpool against Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday, as the Reds aim to end a 13-year wait for a European trophy. The full-back will likely be up against Madrid talisman Ronaldo, as Los Blancos hunt down a third successive Champions League triumph, but Alexander-Arnold insists he will focus on his own game, rather than the qualities of the opposition. "I have trained for 13 years for these moments, these types of games," he explained to the Telegraph. "You prepare yourself for it without even knowing.  "That is the main thing, to keep striving, to focus on myself and make sure I get a good game. Then there is more chance of me not giving him [Ronaldo] too many chances to do what he does best." Alexander-Arnold has become a key feature in Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side this term, capitalising on Nathaniel Clyne's injury woes to take up the mantle as the club's first-choice right-back. His superb form for the Reds in the Premier League and their run to the Champions League final has earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad. However, the teenager says that it is only the speed in which he has risen to prominence that has surprised him, and not the fact he has made it to the international stage. "I have always thought 'take a step at a time'," Alexander-Arnold, who is yet to make his senior England debut, added. "Even though it is hard to say this, I have never felt overwhelmed in that situation. "Every situation has been a goal and a dream so I have thought about it many times and nothing has really been a surprise. "Even though the timing has been a surprise - I never felt right now I would be going to a World Cup - I always dreamed I would be going at some point. "I have thought things over in my mind millions of times growing up. Every situation that has happened I have imagined."

  • Zidane surprises Owen with 'frightening'...

    Zinedine Zidane has been a “frightening” success at Real Madrid, says Michael Owen, with the Frenchman offering little to suggest that he would be a top boss during his playing days. Widely considered to be one of the finest players of his generation, the man now in charge at th...

    Zidane surprises Owen with 'frightening' success at Real Madrid

    Zinedine Zidane has been a “frightening” success at Real Madrid, says Michael Owen, with the Frenchman offering little to suggest that he would be a top boss during his playing days. Widely considered to be one of the finest players of his generation, the man now in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu was not considered to be a coach of the future. He possessed the talent and experience to pass on to stars of tomorrow, but was seen by those around him to be too introverted to be a leading tactician. Owen admits to having formed that opinion during his time alongside Zidane in Madrid, but the former Blancos striker concedes that he has been proved wrong by a Liga and Champions League winner. “I never had Zidane down as a manager, I must admit,” the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner told the Daily Mail. “He was reasonably quiet in the dressing room. He didn’t miss a trick. You’d see him assessing the situation but I didn’t think he would want to go into management. “It’s quite frightening what he has done [winning two Champions League trophies, a league title and two FIFA Club World Cups since taking over in 2016]. “There’s been talk of him getting sacked even after winning back-to-back Champions Leagues and possibly three on the spin. Yes, there are some great players at the club. But he’s shaped them into a great team. “To do that, so young, in his first real job, at a club which is so political. There are two huge papers [covering Real Madrid] fighting with each other. You have to keep both happy, or else one turns on you. Then you have the president. Then you have huge egos in the team. You’re juggling so many balls, more so than at any other club in the world. To do that with no experience of being a manager…” Zidane is currently chasing down a hat-trick of Champions League wins, with an eagerly-anticipated clash with Liverpool in Kiev on May 26 set to pitch two of Europe’s most attacking teams into combat. Owen added on that contest: “This could go either way. They’re contrasting teams in terms of experience and styles. I know everyone is putting Real Madrid as favourites but it’s a toss-of-a-coin game for me. “I think we might know after 15-20 minutes where the game is going. If Liverpool are getting success, they could run away. “The buzz around Anfield is huge. The style of play around Liverpool is a massive draw for neutrals. But if you’re a fan, it’s worth every penny to watch this Liverpool team. They rarely disappoint, especially in the big games.”

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