Real Madrid’s trophy machine bids to set the seal on modern-day mastery

Never mind the record books, Liverpool’s task in Kiev on Saturday is finding a way of beating a team who feel right at home in Champions League finals

Saturday’s Champions League final in Kiev promises to be that rare event, a meeting of outstanding teams that manages to live up to its billing, though the television trailer advertising the fact that the contestants have 17 European Cups between them is being ever so slightly economical with the truth.

The figure is correct, it is just that Liverpool’s proud total of five is dwarfed by the Spanish club’s dozen. Not many teams can make Liverpool feel inferior in Europe, but Real Madrid can. The current holders of the trophy have a habit of making everyone feel inferior. No one else is yet in double figures. No one else has won back-to-back titles in both the original European Cup knockout format and the modern Champions League era.

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