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We learned three things from the Champions League final



Kyiv (AFP) – Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 3-1 in Saturday's Champions League final in Kiev. Here are three things we learned from Real's 13th European Cup triumph:

Tearful Salah Rocks Reds

When Mohamed Salah landed on the grass for the second time in a matter of minutes and held his shoulder, tears began to flow , Egyptian striker Salah was forced when he suffered a shoulder injury after a difficult first-half task following a challenge with Real defender Sergio Ramos. Ramos, who was accused of intentionally taking Salah with him to hurt him, was mocked throughout the game, but despite all his malicious intentions, it was a devastating blow to Liverpool and a transcendent talent that could miss the World Cup now. Salah's unbelievable debut season with the Reds saw the PFA and the "Player of the Year" of football authors break records in all competitions with 44 goals. Liverpool's European exploits this season were built on Salah's predatory finish and dazzling skills, but they had to play 60 minutes without their talisman and it was a mission too far. After dominating the early stages, there was an immediate slump in Liverpool's performance. Liverpool had nine shots with Salah on the pitch and none for the rest of the half. Despite a gallant second half, there was a sense of the inevitability of Real's triumph as Salah groomed his wounds.

Ronaldo, Zidane among the Immortals

Although Cristiano Ronaldo did not like his finest solo performance, he still polished his glittering CV as Real was the first player to win the title five times in the Champions League era. Ronaldo joined an elite four-man list with Real Trio Paco Gento, Alfredo di Stefano and Jose Maria Zarraga and AC Milan Paolo Maldini, as the five-time winner of the European Cup. In his sixth European Cup final, Ronaldo failed to repeat his last game against Juventus last year. But even on a quiet night when he could not improve his 44 goals this season, the Portuguese superstar still went home with the silver cutlery. Thanks to Gareth Bale's majestic winner, Ronaldo was not the only Madrid icon to consolidate his place among the immortals. Zinedine Zidane became the first coach to win the European Cup three years in a row. The former Real star is after Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti also only the third coach who could win the trophy three times – not bad for a man who had to endure strong criticism and during a season in which Madrid fluttered in the Primera División. Real, now 13-time European Cup winner, is the first team to win the competition in three consecutive seasons since FC Bayern München between 1974 and 1976. Fittingly, Zidane had predicted the recent revision of the history books when he faced the press on Friday. "You can not say Liverpool is more hungry than we are – it's just not true, we're in a third final and we have a chance to do something historical," he said.

Careless Karius condemns Klopp to fresh Endweh

Jürgen Klopp, who suffered from two unforgivable mistakes by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, lost his last in a big final when the German suffered his sixth loss in seven league games , Klopp already knew exactly what it felt like to get within reach of the Champions League trophy after Borussia Dortmund lost the 2013 final against Bayern Munich. Klopp's Liverpool was also beaten in the Europa League final of 2016 by Sevilla, which was all the more painful as Karius received the silver for Madrid. The 24-year-old German, signed by Klopp from Mainz in 2016, was miserable and missed the first goal for Karim Benzema with a careless shot, which bounced off the outer track was the final minutes. After settling on Karius in the last few months ahead of Simon Mignolet, Klop's faith has returned and he is the fourth coach after Massimiliano Allegri, Diego Simeone and Hector Cuper lost in two Champions League finals.


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