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two myths for a final

The clash between two of the biggest clubs in the world promises to be as intense as it is undecided on Saturday evening at the Stade de France.

An end to the season in apotheosis. It’s hard to dream of a better epilogue on Saturday evening, when the twenty-two players of this Liverpool-Real Madrid will enter the brand new lawn of the Stade de France to succeed Chelsea on the list of winners of the most legendary club competition. All the ingredients are in place to attend a high quality spectacle between two giants of European football, with, on the one hand, the English club and its six trophies in the Champions League and, on the other, the legend of Madrid and its thirteen victories… XXL awards for a dizzying, tasty and above all highly anticipated duel to end the 2021-2022 season in the most beautiful way.

With a cast of hell in Saint-Denis which will have nothing to envy at the Cannes Film Festival, in a weekend of fabulous sport, between the Grand Prix of Monaco, the Champions Cup final in Marseille or the continuation of Roland -Garros, this Liverpool-Real ticks all the boxes for a gargantuan Saturday evening (9 p.m., TF1, Canal+). Even legendary some will dare, and in particular the 60,000 English present (only 22,000 obtained a ticket for the match) in the French capital alongside thousands of Spaniards impatient at the idea of ​​hanging on to the “fourteenth” (14e C1).

Initially planned in Saint Petersburg, but finally organized in Saint-Denis due to the war in Ukraine, the final brings together two legendary coaches (Jürgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti), stars in shambles (Benzema, Modric, Salah, Mané …) but above all collectives that have managed to extricate themselves from the many pitfalls of a long European campaign.

If the Reds arrive at the Stade de France without having had to undergo an obstacle course (Inter Milan, Benfica, Villarreal) in Europe, but logically damaged by the duel lost against Manchester City in the quest for the title of champion of England , when opening the book of this unique edition, the journey of the Merengues to climb to the final remains inevitably in all memories after memorable battles against Paris SG, Chelsea and Manchester City. With, each time, a jostled Real Madrid, close to breaking up and saved by his courage, his deep hatred of defeat and a fabulous Karim Benzema (15 goals, top scorer in the competition).

Force collective

At 34, the Frenchman, symbol of an unsinkable Real, has been surfing on an unshakeable confidence for months, unfailingly accommodating the weight of responsibilities to the point of advancing before the final as the big favorite in the race for the Ball. Golden. “There is no doubt that he has to win it this yearplant Carlo Ancelotti. They can’t take it away.Impossible to imagine a more beautiful and symbolic theater than the Stade de France for “KB9” when completing his work after irrational moments, such as his hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea or his three goals against City during the double confrontation Homeric in the semi-final against the men of Pep Guardiola, future champions of England.

Karim Benzema must win the Ballon d’Or this year

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach

But now, there is still a battle to be fought for the strong man of a Madrid that is not necessarily spectacular, but devilishly strong and efficient. The biggest. The fiercest. The most indecisive. The one who will further maintain the legend of the Blues striker (already 4 victories in C1) and the Madrid club. And the 78,000 spectators at the Stade de France are just waiting for that. If Benzema believes in the Ballon d’Or like never before, to the point of dreaming of succeeding Zinédine Zidane, the last French winner in 1998 (Papin, Platini three times and Kopa are the other winners in the history of French football), he will find on his road a certain Sadio Mané (30 years old), winner of the CAN with Senegal last February and also a monster of regularity with the Reds this season. You don’t have to be a guesser to imagine that, barring a huge surprise, the future Ballon d’Or will be the key man for this Dionysian meeting.

But more than these individual considerations, this third duel between English and Spaniards in the C1 final (1-0 victory for the Reds in 1981 in Paris, Madrid’s revenge in 2018 in kyiv, 3-1) remains above all the confrontation between two formidable collectives headed by experienced technicians who are given the freedom to implement their precepts and develop the idea – not so absurd – that football is above all the story of a group, of a sum of individualities at the service of a collective. Especially not the opposite. Strongly Saturday evening. For a total party. And an evening that everyone hopes is legendary.

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