Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid and Mohamed Salah’s Liverpool will meet in the Champions League final on May 28 in Paris – four years after their famous clash in Kyiv
Former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has declared himself an “Evertonian” ahead of the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
The two teams will meet in Paris on May 28, four years after Real defeated the Reds in Kyiv to win the prestigious competition for a record 13th time. Mohamed Salah has already warned Ancelotti Liverpool have a “score to settle” in the French capital.
Yet the Italian coach isn’t bothered. When asked about Salah’s remark, he replied: “I’m happy to play yet another final. We’ll have to face another great team, Liverpool. In my personal history, I’ve squared off against Liverpool a bunch of times.
“In 1984 as a player, in 2007 [and other times, including Liverpool’s famous victory against AC Milan in 2005] and now again we’ll be playing against Liverpool. I lived in Liverpool for two years, as well. To me, this feels like a derby because I’m still an Evertonian.”
Ancelotti was in charge at Goodison Park between December 2019 and June 2021, leaving Everton to return to Real. Since then, the Toffees have plummeted down the table and are now in serious danger of suffering relegation to the Championship, sitting in 18th.
Real, meanwhile, have flourished under Ancelotti’s leadership. They’ve already won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup this season and have the chance to pick up a third trophy – the biggest of the them all – when they take on Liverpool in the Champions League final.
Real reached the showpiece event after a stunning win 6-5 aggregate win against Manchester City. Two last-minute goals from Rodrygo forced the game into extra-time before Karim Benzema’s penalty snatched the unlikeliest of wins for Ancelotti’s side.
“You could not write it,” former Real defender Jonathan Woodgate told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Phenomenal football by Real Madrid and City had no comeback. What a game of football. It’s probably the best I have ever seen. An incredible performance by Real.”
Gary Lineker added: “One of the most extraordinary and thrilling two legged Champions League games in the history of the competition. City were clearly the better side and unlucky to lose, but this Real [side] has immense character and somehow kept finding something from somewhere. Football, eh!”
The result is devastating news for Pep Guardiola’s City, yet Salah is delighted. The Egyptian was forced out of Liverpool’s 2018 defeat to Real after suffering a shoulder injury 30 minutes into the final, caused by a heavy challenge from Sergio Ramos.
“We have a score to settle,” tweeted Salah shortly after Real’s remarkable victory was confirmed. The comment came 24 after Liverpool’s 5-2 aggregate win against Villarreal and Salah’s initial plea for the Spanish giants to reach the final.
“I want to play Madrid, I have to be honest,” said Salah on Tuesday. “City is a really tough team, we played against them a few times this season. I think personally, I would prefer Madrid. We lost in the final to them so I want to play against them and hopefully win it.”