As Liverpool prepares for another famous European night, Australian football icon Harry Kewell offers a startling and astonishing outlook on one of the greatest chapters in the history of the Champions League.
Cowell played in two Champions League finals for Liverpool – an incredible penalty comeback win against AC Milan in 2005 and a 2-1 defeat to the same opponent in 2007.
“We were lucky in that game,” Kewell Stan told Sport FC ahead of Sunday’s (AEST) showdown between Liverpool and Real Madrid.
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“I think AC Milan should have won in 2005 and we should have won in 2007.”
Kewell started the 2005 final in Istanbul but died of a groin injury in the first half.
“It was hard for me to take it on a personal note,” he said.
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“You’ve worked hard all your life to play in these big moments and I’ve been injured and on the field. But the great thing is I play a team game. Individuals can win games but teams can win tournaments and that night I saw my team do something special.
“It was incredible, I will never forget it and I’m glad to be part of it.”
Despite Milan’s revenge in the Champions League in 2007, this time Liverpool set a score.
Champions League Highlights: Liverpool vs Villarreal
The Reds have painful memories of the 2018 final they lost 3-1 to Madrid in Kiev.
Striker Mohamed Salah left the field in tears after being controversially injured by Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in that match.
Winning the Champions League would be the perfect tonic for Liverpool after finishing second behind Manchester City in an epic Premier League title race.
“We have to be part of our league every week and on rare occasions you can stop playing,” said Kewell.
“But on European nights, you can’t compete in Europe – you have to be your best. It’s a cup competition so you can’t take a night off and I think that’s why they’re special, because it’s do or die. If you don’t perform that night. But you will be out of the cup and will not be able to make the next one unless you qualify again.
“So it’s important that you play your best every time you play in these tournaments.”
When is the 2022 Champions League final?
The 2022 Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid will start at 5am on Sunday, May 29 AEST.
Where is the 2022 Champions League final?
The Stade de France in Paris will host the much-anticipated match. The stadium has more than 80,000 spectators.
The last two Scaro to play in and win a European final are Harry Kewell and Azdin Horstik, with historians Craig Foster, Mark Bosnich and Vince Rugery talking about history writing, playing at the highest level and special European nights.
How to watch the 2022 Champions League final in Australia
The biggest game in club football will be live and free on 9Gem and will be ad-free stream on Stan Sport from AEST on Sunday, May 29 at 4.30am.
Socceroos legend and Stan Sport expert commentators Mark Bosnich and Craig Foster will be in the studio to cover the action hosted by Max Rushden.
English football presenter Mark Paugach and La Liga TV host Semra Hunter will be on the ground in Paris, along with the studio cross of European football expert Lars Sewertsen.
For a communal football experience, early emerging fans can head to Federation Square in Melbourne for Stan Sport’s exclusive live site for the big match.
Liverpool and Real Madrid team news
UEFA’s official website has compiled its ‘potential’ starting XI for both sides.
Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara is in doubt following Achilles’ injury over the weekend, although manager Jurgen Klopp has said he will return to training in the week following “surprisingly good” predictions from medical staff.
Fellow Reds midfielder Fabinho is also battling a hamstring injury but has resumed practice.
Klopp must choose between Ibrahima Kona and center-back Joel Matip.
Red-hot Luis Diaz is pushing hard to start with Roberto Firmino in front.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, have a steady line-up, although two-goal semi-final hero Rodrigo Federico has extended his hand for a place in the XI ahead of Valverde.
Potential Liverpool XI: Allison, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dyke, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Salah, Mane, Diaz
Potential Real Madrid XI: Courtois, Carvajal, Eder Militao, Alaba, Mendy, Cruz, Casimiro, Modric, Valvarde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr.
Champions League Highlights: Real Madrid vs Manchester City
How did Liverpool and Real Madrid reach the final?
Liverpool are top of Group B with six wins from their pool games.
The Reds then beat Inter Milan (2-1 in the aggregate) in the Round of 16, Benfica (6-4 in the aggregate) in the quarter-finals and Villarreal (5-2 in the aggregate) in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid reached the final.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are top of Group D with just one loss before falling behind in all three of their epic knockout ties against heavyweight opponents.
Defending champions Chelsea (5-4 overall) in the quarter-finals and Manchester City (6-5 overall) in the semifinals before Paris Saint-Germain (3-2 overall) were the first victims in the Round of 16.
How many Champions League titles have these two clubs won?
Real Madrid is easily the most successful club in the rich history of the competition with 13 titles.
Liverpool are tied for third place with six trophies.
Who are the favorites for the 2022 Champions League final?
Despite Real Madrid’s unbeaten record in the competition, bookmakers have made Liverpool a hot favorite for the final.
As of Thursday, Sportsbet is listing the Reds at $ 2.05, the Real at $ 3.40 while a draw after 90 minutes is paying $ 3.60.
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