Real Madrid beating Liverpool in Champions League final would make them the greatest-ever club side in history

 In U.S.

THEY can go down as the greatest club side of all time.

Real Madrid are just 90 minutes from mastering the most difficult, the most challenging, the most arduous competition in European club football for a third successive season.

 Real Madrid will be the greatest-ever club side if they win the Champions League finalGetty Images

Real Madrid will be the greatest-ever club side if they win the Champions League final
 Real Madrid are looking for a third straight Champions League and fourth in fifth yearsGetty Images

Real Madrid are looking for a third straight Champions League and fourth in fifth years

A hat-trick of Champions League successes would set Zinedine Zidane’s side apart. Better than the Real Madrid side inspired by Alfredo Di Stefano, who won the European Cup five times in a row when the competition launched in the 1950s.

Better than the Liverpool teams who dominated the competition in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when they triumphed over Borussia Monchengladbach, Bruges, Real and Roma.

Better, even, than the Barcelona side coached by Frank Rijkaard when they beat Arsenal in 2006 and then refined by Pep Guardiola in 2009 and 2011.

They were all outstanding but the pressure placed on Real’s players at the start of each season is extraordinary.

 Victory against Liverpool would make it three in a row and four in five years

Victory against Liverpool would make it three in a row and four in five years

The Spanish club are expected to win this trophy, placing it above their own domestic league title in terms of importance.

To travel across Europe, to come through six group games followed by the perils of knockout football, is the ultimate test for the modern player.


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The great Madrid side of the 1950s needed just seven games to win it (with the exception of one-off play-offs against Rapid Vienna and Stade Riems). In its current guise, the winner must play 13 games to get their hands on the trophy. It is relentless.

The demands inside that Real Madrid dressing room, with the history of this club and the constant reminders of their illustrious predecessors, are extraordinary.

Liverpool fans start the party in Kiev ahead of Champions League final clash with Real Madrid
 More glory for Real will surely make them even greater than Pep Guardiola's BarcelonaAFP

More glory for Real will surely make them even greater than Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona

Everybody is out to beat them. To keep coming back for more in the modern era, when the trappings of fame and fortune can distract and destabilise the best players, is unique.

Real, operating under those intolerable demands, are a remarkable force. The final is Cristiano Ronaldo’s stage, the only player in Champions League history to score in 11 successive games in this tournament. Even at 33, his appetite is undimmed.

In the centre of midfield, the ball works overtime when Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are in possession. As a pairing, they are unrivalled.

Sergio Ramos, who would be regarded the best defender in the history of the sport had he not been sent off 24 times, is the security blanket.

 Real have to get past free-scoring Liverpool firstPA:Press Association

Real have to get past free-scoring Liverpool first

The motivation is remarkable. The Champions League is their competition, taking ownership of it with a penalty shootout victory over Atletico Madrid in 2016 and a 4-1 win over Juventus last season.

Real Madrid come alive in Europe. The route to this final has been treacherous, with the knockout rounds full of danger after being drawn against European football’s elite.

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They came through unscathed, beating big-spenders Paris Saint-Germain, last season’s finalists Juve and Bayern Munich in the semi-final.

Ronaldo’s overhead kick in the Juventus Stadium, beating the great Gianluigi Buffon with one of the best goals of his career, was a jaw- dropping moment.

 Zinedine Zidane is ready to create even more history in Kiev this weekendGetty Images

Zinedine Zidane is ready to create even more history in Kiev this weekend

Juve’s fans acted on impulse, rising from their seats to applaud one of the most dedicated sportsmen of all time He had earned it. So, too, have Real Madrid as they close in on this achievement.

Zizou, their ice-cool head coach, only won this trophy once as a player, scoring a belter for the Galacticos in a 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen.

Real Madrid stars including Cristiano Ronaldo arrive in Kiev for Champions League final against Liverpool

Whatever the misgivings about his coaching ability, his players will be immortalised if they win tomorrow.

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