Liverpool and Real Madrid are two of the most iconic clubs in the Champions League and in world football.
The Reds (6) and Los Blancos (13) have been crowned European champions 19 times between them, but despite their successes on the European stage, their paths haven’t crossed as regularly as you might think.
Here, 90min takes a look at Liverpool‘s record against the Spanish giants.
The Merseyside club came face to face with Real Madrid for the first time in the 1981 European Cup final. The fixture took place at the home of Paris Saint-Germain, the Parc des Princes in the French capital.
Alan Kennedy scored the only goal of the game eight minutes from time as the Reds won 1-0 to become European champions for the third time in five seasons.
Real Madrid’s team that day included Vicente del Bosque, who also enjoyed a successful spell as the club’s manager.
As for the English side, their side was full of household names such as Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen.
The pair next met 28 years later in the Champions League round of 16 in 2009, as Rafa Benitez’s side earned a narrow 1-0 victory at the Bernabeu in the first leg.
Yossi Benayoun was the goalscorer that day, heading home a Fabio Aurelio free-kick. Liverpool looked comfortable throughout, limiting their opponents to mostly long-range speculative efforts.
Benitez received much praise for his tactical approach that night and that away victory put them in the driving seat for the second leg that was to follow approximately a fortnight later…
Liverpool finished the job they started in the first-leg emphatically with a comprehensive victory over the Spaniards in the second leg.
Fernando Torres was the star of the show that day, the former Atletico Madrid star scored the opener against his old adversaries, Steven Gerrard added a brace and substitute Andrea Dossena added a fourth – scoring his first goal for the Reds.
Benitez’s side ‘outclassed’ Los Blancos over the course of the tie but went on to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage by their domestic rivals Chelsea.
Five years later, former Manchester United man Cristiano Ronaldo was on the scoresheet for Real Madrid as they ran out 3-0 winners at Anfield. The pari were drawn together in the group stages, giving Madrid the chance to avenge the defeat they had suffered in 2009.
Karim Benzema was also on target, scoring Real’s second and third goals on the night. This was the first time Liverpool had ever been three goals down at half-time at Anfield.
Mario Balotelli was much criticised for his performance on the night and incurred the wrath of some supporters when he swapped shirts with Pepe at half time. He was replaced at the break by Adam Lallana.
Benzema scored the only goal of the game in the return fixture just shy of the half hour mark.
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool boss at the time, made seven changes to the side that had faced Newcastle United in the Premier League the weekend prior and that meant leaving the likes of Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho on the bench.
Liverpool showed more attacking endeavour in the second half but failed to equalise and so the La Liga club completed a comfortable double over the Reds in Group B that season.
Some 37 years later, Real Madrid finally got their revenge on Liverpool for their European cup final defeat in 1981.
The two met in the Ukrainian capital in the 2018 UEFA Champions League final but Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool suffered a heart-breaking defeat. A combination of Gareth Bale‘s brilliance and a disastrous display from Loris Karius contributed to the outcome – leaving the Premier League side heartbroken.
Still, Liverpool made up for it a year later…
No Virgil van Dijk, no Jordan Henderson, no Joe Gomez…all those absences and more spelled big troubled for Liverpool in the first leg of their quarter final tie with Real.
A makeshift backline was put to the sword as Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior scored twice and Marco Asensio netted.
Mohamed Salah did strike to give the Reds some hope of a comeback for the second leg.