|Event||2017–18 UEFA Champions League|
|Date||26 May 2018|
|Venue||NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev|
|Man of the Match||Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)|
|Referee||Milorad Mažić (Serbia)|
20 °C (68 °F)
The 2018 UEFA Champions League Final was the final match of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League, the 63rd season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 26th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League. It was played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on 26 May 2018, between Spanish side Real Madrid, who had won the competition in each of the last two seasons, and English side Liverpool.
The winners will earn the right to play against the winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League in the 2018 UEFA Super Cup. They will also qualify to enter the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup as the UEFA representative.
In the following table, finals until 1992 were in the European Cup era, since 1993 were in the UEFA Champions League era.
|Team||Previous finals appearances (bold indicates winners)|
|Real Madrid||15 (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1981, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017)|
|Liverpool||7 (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 1985, 2005, 2007)|
The NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium was announced as the final venue on 15 September 2016, following the decision of the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in Athens, Greece. This is the sixth European Cup/Champions League final hosted at an Eastern European venue following those in 1973 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, the 1983, 1994 and 2007 finals hosted by Athens, Greece as well as the 2008 final in Moscow, Russia.
The Olimpiyskiy Stadium was built in 1923 and it has been renovated three times, most recently in 2011 in preparation for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament. The stadium was used as a venue in the 1980 Summer Olympics for its football event and the fore mentioned European Championship, including the final match which saw Spain thrash Italy by the record-breaking score of 4–0 on the way to their third title. Its current capacity is 70,050. The current tenants of the stadium are the Ukraine national football team (1994–present) and Dynamo Kyiv (2011–present).
Defending champions Real Madrid reached a record 16th final after a 4–3 aggregate win against German side Bayern Munich, knocking them out of the competition for the second consecutive season. This is Real Madrid's third consecutive final, and fourth final in five tournaments with an opportunity to win a record 13th title. Previously they won finals in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016 and 2017; and lost in 1962, 1964 and 1981. This was also their 20th final in all seasonal UEFA competitions, having also played in two Cup Winners' Cup finals (losing in 1971 and 1983) and two UEFA Cup finals (winning in 1985 and 1986). Real Madrid are only the third team since the competition's rebranding as the Champions League to reach three consecutive finals after Milan in 1995 and Juventus in 1998. They are looking to be the first team in the Champions League era, and the fourth overall, to win three straight finals, a feat only achieved by the Real Madrid side of the 1950s, as they went on to win a record five successive finals, as well as the Ajax and Bayern Munich squads of the 1970s in 1973 and 1976, respectively.
Liverpool reached their eighth final, their first since 2007, after a 7–6 aggregate win against Italian side Roma. They have won the final on five occasions (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005), and have lost twice (1985 and 2007). This was also their 13th final in UEFA seasonal competitions, having played in one Cup Winners' Cup final (losing in 1966) and four UEFA Cup/Europa League finals (winning in 1973, 1976 and 2001; and losing in 2016). Liverpool were the first team since Bayern Munich in 2011–12 to reach the final having qualified for the competition through the play-off round. This was also the most recent occasion the final featured an English team (Chelsea). Liverpool were the most recent team to defeat Real Madrid in a European Cup Final, winning 1–0 in Paris in 1981.
Besides the 1981 final, the two teams have played each other four times in the Champions League era. Liverpool won both matches in the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League round of 16, while Real Madrid won both matches in the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League group stage.
Road to the final
Note: In all results below, the score of the finalist is given first (H: home; A: away).
|Bye||Qualifying phase||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Play-off round||1899 Hoffenheim||6–3||2–1 (A)||4–2 (H)|
|APOEL||3–0 (H)||Matchday 1||Sevilla||2–2 (H)|
|Borussia Dortmund||3–1 (A)||Matchday 2||Spartak Moscow||1–1 (A)|
|Tottenham Hotspur||1–1 (H)||Matchday 3||Maribor||7–0 (A)|
|Tottenham Hotspur||1–3 (A)||Matchday 4||Maribor||3–0 (H)|
|APOEL||6–0 (A)||Matchday 5||Sevilla||3–3 (A)|
|Borussia Dortmund||3–2 (H)||Matchday 6||Spartak Moscow||7–0 (H)|
|Group H runners-up
|Final standings||Group E winners
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Knockout phase||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Paris Saint-Germain||5–2||3–1 (H)||2–1 (A)||Round of 16||Porto||5–0||5–0 (A)||0–0 (H)|
|Juventus||4–3||3–0 (A)||1–3 (H)||Quarter-finals||Manchester City||5–1||3–0 (H)||2–1 (A)|
|Bayern Munich||4–3||2–1 (A)||2–2 (H)||Semi-finals||Roma||7–6||5–2 (H)||2–4 (A)|
With a stadium capacity of 63,000 for the final, a total amount of 40,700 tickets are available to fans and the general public, with the two finalist teams receiving 17,000 tickets each and with 6,700 tickets being available for sale to fans worldwide via UEFA.com from 15 to 22 March 2018 in four price categories: €450, €320, €160, and €70. The remaining tickets are allocated to the local organising committee, UEFA and national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters, and to serve the corporate hospitality programme.
English singer Dua Lipa will perform at the opening ceremony preceding the final.
On 7 May 2018, UEFA announced that Serbian Milorad Mažić would officiate the final. Mažić has been a FIFA referee since 2009, and gained UEFA's elite referee status in 2013. He will be joined by his fellow countrymen, with Milovan Ristić and Dalibor Đurdević as assistant referees, Nenad Đokić and Danilo Grujić as additional assistant referees, and Nemanja Petrović as reserve assistant referee. The fourth official for the final is Frenchman Clément Turpin.
The match began with Liverpool's kickoff and the team's successive attacks to counter Madrid's slower, possession-based buildup. In the 23rd minute, a low shot by Trent Alexander-Arnold went through a defender's legs and forced a late save by Keylor Navas. Two minutes later, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was pulled down by Sergio Ramos using a "judo-style armlock". Salah was substituted four minutes later for Adam Lallana with a dislocated shoulder and was comforted by Cristiano Ronaldo, who suffered a similar game-ending injury during the first half of the UEFA Euro 2016 Final. Madrid's Dani Carvajal was substituted in the 37th minute with a hamstring injury after an attempted backheel. Minutes later, Karim Benzema's goal was disallowed after he was determined to be offside while finishing a shot started by Ronaldo's header. The first half ended scoreless, with Madrid dominating possession but Liverpool having more chances to score.
The second half began with a shot by Isco, who hit the crossbar, and Sergio Ramos bringing down Loris Karius in the 49th minute. and then a goal by Benzema that was scored by blocking a throw by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius in the 51st minute. Liverpool equalized four minutes later on a tap-in by Sadio Mané, who finished a header by Dejan Lovren during a corner kick. Gareth Bale was substituted in for Isco in the 61st minute and scored Madrid's second goal two minutes later, using an acrobatic bicycle kick to finish a cross by Marcelo. Liverpool pressed for a second equalizing goal, with a shot by Mané that hit the goal post and calls for a penalty for an alleged handball, but were also losing possession to Madrid. Ronaldo had a chance to score his first goal of the match during a counterattack in the 73rd minute, but was tackled by Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson in the penalty box. Bale scored his second goal of the match in the 83rd minute on a 40-yard (37 m) shot that was mishandled by Karius. A second chance for Ronaldo in the 93rd minute of play was interrupted by a fan on the pitch, who was tackled by stadium stewards.
The "home" team (for administrative purposes) was determined by an additional draw held after the semi-final draw, which was held on 13 April 2018, 13:00 CEST, at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.
|26 May 2018
|Real Madrid||3–1||Liverpool||NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev|
Referee: Milorad Mažić (Serbia)
Bale 64', 83'
Man of the Match:
Real Madrid became the first team since Bayern Munich in 1974–76 to win three consecutive UEFA Champions Leagues or European Cups. The title is Madrid's 13th, another Champions League record, and fourth in five years. Manager Zinedine Zidane became the first to win three consecutive Champions League titles and matched Carlo Ancelotti's record of Champions League era wins. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player to win the Champions League five times, beating the record set by Clarence Seedorf in 2007 and by Andrés Iniesta in 2015.
Gareth Bale became the first substitute to score two goals in a Champions League final and was named man of the match. His first goal received acclaim as one of the best in Champions League history and was compared to Ronaldo's bicycle kick goal against Juventus in the quarter-final and manager Zinedine Zidane's goal in the 2002 final. Sergio Ramos's tackle on Mohamed Salah received mixed reactions from the press and fans on whether the injury was the result of a deliberate blow or an accident. Egyptian fans responded with anger on social media, including insults that became trending topics on Twitter. A separate incident involving Ramos and Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius raised questions after video showed him allegedly elbowing Karius in the face prior to his first goalkeeping error.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp lost his sixth of seven major finals, including Champions League and league cups. After the match, Loris Karius tearfully apologised to Liverpool supporters who remained in the stands and stated that his mistakes "lost the team the final". However after the match, Karius would become a subject of online death threats, mainly on Twitter, with comments directed to him, as well as his children and other football players.
|Real Madrid matches - 2017-18|
|2017-18 La Liga|
|2017-18 Copa del Rey|
|2017-18 Champions League|
|Liverpool F.C. matches - 2017-18|
|2017-18 Premier League|
|2017-18 FA Cup|
|2017-18 League Cup|
|2017-18 Champions League|