Reports from Spanish outlets Marca and AS say that Gareth Bale has been chosen to start against Liverpool in the Champions League final this evening. While Liverpool’s starting XI is basically pre-determined because of injuries and availability, it was an open question how Zinedine Zidane was going to set up his side to face the Reds.
Bale has been in good form for Madrid, and now it appears that he will join Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo up front, while Karim Benzema starts on the bench.
Bale’s speed on the wing is difficult to control — which Liverpool fans will remember from his years playing for Spurs before he moved to Spain. Though, in truth, from a Liverpool perspective, there’s no good line-up that Zidane could have chosen. Still, the image of Bale and Ronaldo running at our young fullbacks may send a fission of fear down some Reds’ fans’ spines.
But it’s mere hours from kick off, and this isn’t the time for belly-aching. Jürgen Klopp’s most glorious Reds have marched to Kyiv by playing dominate, entertaining, kinetic football, and it’s 90 more minutes until they make history.
Madrid may have Bale, but Liverpool have Sadio Mané, maybe the most underrated player in world football. They may have the reigning Ballon d’Or winner, but, mark my words, Liverpool have the next one. They may have Isco, but Liverpool have their sneaky, talented, genuinely crazy Brazilian up front — and you don’t mess with crazy.
Allez, Allez, Allez