Real Madrid accentuated their record by signing a 14e European title thanks to a 1-0 victory at the expense of Liverpool on Saturday in the Champions League final.
The final started 37 minutes late due to crowd problems outside the Stade de France in Paris.
Once on the field, the Brazilian Vinícius Júnior scored the only goal of the match, in the 59e minute, after accepting a cross from Federico Valverde. The victory allowed head coach Carlo Ancelotti to win the tournament for a record fourth time.
“We are the best,” said Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. It was a very tough competition and we deserved to win this final. With all the history this team has, we showed everyone that we are still here. »
While Real Madrid completed the Champions League and Spanish La Liga double, Liverpool concluded the season with two cups in England.
“No one in the dressing room feels like we have just finished a very good season,” insisted Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp.
The English club were unable to thwart goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who fended off a Sadio Mané shot in the first half. He made an even more spectacular save in the 81e minute, at the expense of Mohamed Salah.
“Today, no one was going to get in my way,” Courtois said. I was going to win the Champions League one way or another. »
Vinícius knelt down and covered his face with his hands when the last whistle sounded. Several of his teammates walked all over the pitch to celebrate in front of the Real Madrid supporters.
Liverpool players remained on the pitch to watch Marcelo, who didn’t play a single minute in the final, lift the trophy against a backdrop of fireworks.
Real Madrid have cemented their status as the kings of European football. The Spanish team holds twice the European championships than its closest rival, AC Milan. Liverpool remained at six European titles.
However, pre-match crowd issues marred this final and will certainly be investigated by UEFA and the authorities in the coming days.
With just 45 minutes left until kick-off, there were still long lines of Liverpool supporters waiting to be cleared into the stadium. In some cases, supporters walked through security.
L’Associated Press saw two supporters – one of them dressed in Liverpool colors – being knocked to the ground by guards and carried out of the front doors. Others managed to enter the stadium.
The situation began to spiral out of control when riot police deployed tear gas towards Liverpool supporters lined up while others scaled the fences. Police with batons and riot shields ran from door to door to prevent groups of supporters from entering the stadium without showing their tickets.
“I have severe asthma and I’ve been gassed twice,” Liverpool fan Angela Murphy told AFP.Associated Press through a fence. I’m really having trouble breathing. »
UEFA blamed people who tried to enter the stadium without legitimate tickets.
“Before the start of the match, the turnstiles on the Liverpool side were blocked by thousands of supporters who bought fake tickets which did not work in the turnstiles,” UEFA said in a statement.
About 15 minutes before kick-off, scheduled for 9 p.m. in Paris, an announcement was made that there would be a delay, blaming the late arrival of supporters at the stadium. This announcement was met with mockery inside the stadium, given that these supporters had already endured long queues.
The scenes recalled the chaos outside Wembley Stadium ahead of last year’s Euros final between England and Italy.