For the first time all season, Liverpool will kickoff with a quadruple definitively off the table. Considering it’s the last match—and the least possible match that the lads can play in—that’s an incredible feat in and of itself.
The only remaining question is whether this incredible squad ends the 2021/22 season with a domestic cup double, or a cup treble? Neither feat should be sneered at or mocked, despite opposition fans attempting to do just that, especially considering the incredible 92 points that they put up in the league, a tally that would’ve surely won the league were they not up against a state-sponsored club.
Regardless, failing to win one of the big two trophies—the Premier League or Champions League—would feel patently unfair for this brilliant squad. The word “deserves” is overused in football, but this rendition of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool deserve to go down as European champions and treble winners.
Of course, it’s not just up to Liverpool. As Chelsea proved twice this season, finals are often nervy and unpredictable affairs. The game can turn on its head with a single bounce, deflection, controversial call, moment of brilliance, or a terrible mistake.
The painful memories from the last time we faced Real Madrid highlight this fact too well. Liverpool were on top until Serio Ramos “sorted” things at both ends of the pitch.
However, that was a different Real Madrid side and a different Liverpool side. These Reds have grown because of that memory, and are now the far likelier side to walk off the pitch with a boring 2-0 result. Throughout this run to the final, Real Madrid have thrived in chaos, just as the 2017/18 Liverpool side did. Indeed, if tonight is an exciting affair, it will likely only benefit the 13-time European champions.
In yesterday’s press conference, Klopp laughed off the question of who was the favorite. He was right to do so. He knows that anything can happen in a final. As does his opposing manager tonight, Carlo Ancelotti, who oversaw the most improbably come-back (or collapse, depending on perspective) with AC Milan against Liverpool in 2005.
No matter what, it will be an emotional evening. This is the last time we get to see this Liverpool side. We have already said goodbye to club legend Divock Origi, and if the rumors are to be believed, it might be the same with Sadio Mané.
Again, “deserve” is an overused word in football. But these lads deserve one more—the biggest one—for this incredible campaign.