The bad news for Liverpool is that repeated European Cup finals in quick succession often produce the same winner. Real Madrid, for example.
There have been nine different finals in the history of the European Cup. AC Milan and Benfica faced each other in 1963 and 1990. AC Milan and Ajax competed in 1969 and 1995. Ajax and Juventus faced each other in 1973 and 1996. Real Madrid and Juventus faced each other in 1998 and 2017. Real Madrid and Liverpool faced each other in 1981 and 2018.
In each of these examples, at least 19 years had passed between the two games and therefore the teams were different in everything but name.
But in five cases, the European Cup finals were repeated in quick succession. Real Madrid v Liverpool will be the first showpiece to take place three times and as seen previously, this gap of just four years or less between games offers an interesting insight into what changes and what stays the same in the interval.
The bad news for Liverpool, runners-up to Real Madrid in 2018, is that repeated European Cup finals so soon after each other usually produce the same winner. That hasn’t been the case once – and that was when the Reds themselves lost to AC Milan in 2007 after beating the Italians two years before. And it’s usually Los Blancos who inflict consecutive bouts of heartache on the same team.
Real Madrid against Stade de Reims (1956 and 1959)
1956: Real Madrid 4 Reims 3
1959: Real Madrid 2 Reims 0
1956: Real Madrid 4 (Di Stefano, Rial x2, Marquitos) Reims 3 (Leblond, Templin, Hidalgo)
1959: Real Madrid 2 (Mateos, Di Stefano) Reims 0
1956: Real Madrid – Jose Villalonga
1959: Real Madrid-Luis Carniglia
1956: Reims – Albert Batteux
1959: Reims – Albert Batteux
1956: Real Madrid-Alonso; Marquitos, Atienza, Lesmes; Munoz, Zarraga; Joseito, Marsal, Rial, Gento; Di Stefano
1959: Real Madrid-Dominguez; Marquitos, Santamaria, Zarraga; Santisteban, Ruiz; Kopa, Mateos, Rial, Gento; Di Stefano
1956: Reims-Jacquet; Zimny, Jonquet, Giraudo; Leblond, Siatka; Hidalgo, Glowacki, Bliard, Templin; kopa
1959: Reims–Colonna; Rodzik, Jonquet, Giraudo; Penverne, Leblond; Lamartine, Piantoni, Bliard, Vincent; Fountain
Same winners. One player (Alfredo Di Stefano) scored in both finals. The winners have changed managers. The losers kept theirs. Five Real Madrid players have started both finals. Four players from Reims started the two finals. Raymond Kopa started both finals but for different teams.
Liverpool v AC Milan (2005 and 2007)
2005: Liverpool 3 AC Milan 3 (3-2 on penalties)
2007: AC Milan 2 Liverpool 1
2005: Liverpool 3 (Gerrard, Smicer, Alonso) AC Milan 3 (Maldini, Crespo x2)
2007: AC Milan 2 (Inzaghi x2) Liverpool 1 (Kuyt)
2005: Liverpool-Rafael Benitez
2007: Liverpool – Rafael Benitez
2005: AC Milan – Carlo Ancelotti
2007: AC Milan – Carlo Ancelotti
2005: Liverpool – Dudek; Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore; Alonso; Garcia, Gerrard, Riise; Kewell; bars
2007: Liverpool-Reina; Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise; Pennant, Alonso, Mascherano, Zenden; Gerard; Kuyt
2005: AC Milan – Dida; Cafu, Stam, Nesta, Maldini; Gattuso, Kaka, Seedorf; Shevchenko, Crespo
2007: AC Milan – Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Maldini, Jankulovski; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf; Kaka; Inzaghi
2005: Liverpool – Carson, Josemi, Hamann, Nunez, Biscan, Cissé, Smicer
2007: Liverpool – Dudek, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Kewell, Gonzalez, Crouch, Bellamy
2007: AC Milan – Abbiati, Kaladze, Costacurta, Rui Costa, Dhorasoo, Serginho, Dahl Tomasson
2007: AC Milan – Kalac, Cafu, Kaladze, Favalli, Serginho, Brocchi, Gilardino
Different winners. No player scored in the two finals. Both clubs kept their managers. Five Liverpool players have started both finals. Six AC Milan players started both finals. No Liverpool substitutes from 2005 were still with the club in the 2007 final (Scott Carson and Djibril Cissé were both on loan for the season).
Barcelona v Manchester United (2009 and 2011)
2009: Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0
2011: Barcelona 3 Manchester United 1
2009: Barcelona 2 (Eto’o, Messi) Manchester United 0
2011: Barcelona 3 (Pedro, Messi, Villa) Manchester United 1 (Rooney)
2009: Barcelona – Pep Guardiola
2011: Barcelona – Pep Guardiola
2009: Manchester United -Sir Alex Ferguson
2011: Manchester United – Sir Alex Ferguson
2009: Barcelona – Valdés; Puyol, Touré, Pique, Sylvinho; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Henry, Eto’o
2011: Barcelona – Valdés; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro
2009: Manchester United-Van der Sar; O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Anderson, Carrick, Giggs; Park, Ronaldo, Rooney
2011: Manchester United-Van der Sar; Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park; Rooney; Hernandez
2009: Barcelona – Pinto, Caceres, Muniesa, Keita, Gudjohnsen, Bojan, Pedro
2011: Barcelona – Oier, Puyol, Adriano, Keita, Afellay, Thiago, Bojan
2009: Manchester United – Kuszczak, Rafael, Evans, Nani, Scholes, Berbatov, Tevez
2011: Manchester United – Kuszczak, Smalling, Anderson, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Owen
Same winners. One player (Lionel Messi) scored in both finals. Both clubs kept their managers. Six Barcelona players started both finals. Eight Manchester United players started both finals. Anderson and Carlos Puyol started the first final and fell to the bench for the second.
Real Madrid against Atlético Madrid (2014 and 2016)
2014: Real Madrid 4 Atlético Madrid 1 (AET)
2016: Real Madrid 1 Atlético Madrid 1 (5-3 on penalties)
2014: Real Madrid 4 (Ramos, Bale, Marcelo, Ronaldo) Atlético Madrid 1 (Godin)
2016: Real Madrid 1 (Ramos) Atlético Madrid 1 (Carrasco)
2014: Real Madrid – Carlo Ancelotti
2016: Real Madrid – Zinedine Zidane
2014: Atletico Madrid – Diego Simeone
2016: Atletico Madrid – Diego Simeone
2014: Real Madrid-Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Modric, Khedira, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
2016: Real Madrid-Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
2014: Atlético Madrid – Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis; Raul Garcia, Tiago, Gabi, Koke; Diego Costa, Villa
2016: Atlético Madrid – Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Filipe Luis; Saul, Gabi, Fernandez, Koke; Griezmann; Torres
2014: Real Madrid – Lopez, Pepe, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Isco, Illaramedi, Morata
2016: Real Madrid – Casilla, Nacho, Danilo, J. Rodriguez, Vazquez, Isco, Jese
2014: Atlético Madrid – Aranzubia, Alderweireld, Suarez, C. Rodriguez, Sosa, Diego, Adrian
2016: Atlético Madrid – Moya, Hernandez, Gimenez, Tiago, Carrasco, Partey, Correa
Same winners. One player (Sergio Ramos) scored in both finals. The winners have changed managers. The losers kept theirs. Six Real Madrid players have started both finals. Five Atletico Madrid players have started both finals. One player (Isco) came on as a substitute in both finals.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool (2018 and 2022)
2018: Real Madrid 3 Liverpool 1
2018: Real Madrid 3 (Benzema, Bale x2) Liverpool 1 (Mané)
2018: Real Madrid – Zinedine Zidane
2018: Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp
2018: Real Madrid-Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo
2018: Liverpool-Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mané
2018: Real Madrid – Casilla, Nacho, Hernandez, Asensio, Kovacic, Bale, Vazquez
2018: Liverpool – Mignolet, Clyne, Klavan, Moreno, Lallana, Can, Solanke
Real Madrid have changed coaches. Liverpool did not. Four Real Madrid starters have since left for good. Since then, two Liverpool starters have departed permanently, while Loris Karius is staying on somehow; the 2018 final remains his last appearance for the club. Three Real Madrid replacements have since left for good. Every Liverpool replacement has since left for good.
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