Liverpool v Real Madrid: The story in Europe so far

Liverpool and Real Madrid meet for the ninth time in the final of this season’s Champions League at Stade de France in Paris.

The two clubs face off for the revered trophy on Saturday night, having previously clashed just last season in the knockout stages of this very competition.

The forthcoming encounter will see a repeat of European football’s 2018 showpiece event in which Los Blancos came away victorious in Kyiv.

Here is a brief history of Liverpool’s past meetings with Real…

European Cup final (1980-81)

The first ever official contest between Liverpool and Real came in the 1981 European Cup final.

As fate would have it, the two sides – like this year – also met in Paris, but at a different stadium in the Parc des Princes.

It was the Reds’ third appearance in the final game of the competition, having lifted the trophy on two previous occasions in 1977 and 1978.

Bob Paisley became the first manager to lift the cup for a third time in what was an uneventful encounter.

Left-back Alan Kennedy notched the decisive goal, earning himself the tag of unlikely hero by latching onto a Ray Kennedy throw-in to fire home from a tight angle.

Champions League last 16 (2008-09)

It took 28 years for the teams to cross paths again.

The pair were finally pitted together in the knockout stages of the Champions League in 2009.

Liverpool – under the stewardship of Rafael Benitez – travelled to the Bernabeu for the first leg before a return clash at Anfield.

In a tightly contested affair in Madrid, Yossi Benayoun bagged the only goal of the game eight minutes from time with a header from a free-kick.

The second leg on Merseyside resulted in a one-sided outcome, as Liverpool ran out 4-0 winners to knock out their La Liga opponents in fine style.

Goals from Fernando Torres and Andrea Dossena either side of a Steven Gerrard double secured the Reds an emphatic victory on home soil.

Champions League group stage (2014-15)

Liverpool were back in the Champions League for the first time in five seasons.

The Reds came up against a familiar foe in the opposition dugout when they were drawn against Real in the group stage.

Carlo Ancelotti – their current manager – was enjoying his first spell at the club and had claimed the Champions League trophy the campaign before.

Brendan Rodgers’ charges hosted the holders at Anfield in a tough contest and were well beaten on Merseyside.

A Cristiano Ronaldo strike followed by a Karim Benzema double made the game safe by half-time, while the reverse fixture in Madrid saw the Frenchman strike again.

Two defeats contributed to Liverpool’s exit from the competition in the group stage, falling into the Europa League instead.

Champions League final (2017-18)

Liverpool’s trajectory had ultimately altered following the arrival of Jürgen Klopp to the club in 2015.

The Reds had plotted their way to the Champions League final, pitting themselves against Real in the showpiece in Kyiv.

It was the first time the club had reached the last game of the tournament since 2007’s defeat by AC Milan.

On a difficult evening, the Reds were beaten 3-1 on a night to forget in Ukraine.

Champions League quarter-finals (2020-21)

A rerun of the 2018 final came over two legs last season at the quarter-final stage.

Liverpool, again, came up second-best against their Spanish foe – losing 3-1 on aggregate.

All of the goals were scored in the opening leg at Real’s training ground behind closed doors, with the Bernabeu undergoing renovation work.

Vinicius Junior struck twice while Marco Asensio added a third as Mohamed Salah bagged a consolation for the Reds.

A 0-0 draw followed in the reverse fixture in L4, meaning Liverpool bowed out of the tournament at the last-eight stage.

Simos Sakka