By Akinwale Kasali
The fairy-tale journey started in August 2017, when the merseyside club, Liverpool was to face Hoffeheim Football Club in the playoff for a place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, after been absent from the competition close to a decade.
Liverpool humbled the German side to book a place in the group stage. Having been grouped alongside Spartak Moscow FC, Sevilla FC and NK Maribor FC, the Reds as Liverpool are called never looked back.
Yesterday, coach Jurgen Klopp guided the Liverpool club side to the final of the UEFA Champions League.
Liverpool booked a Champions League final meeting with Real Madrid after beating Roma 7-6 on aggregate in the semi-finals on Wednesday despite losing a breathless second leg at the Stadio Olimpico.
After a 5-2 first-leg win last week, a 4-2 defeat on the night could not prevent the five-time champions from reaching their first final since 2007.
Jurgen Klopp’s men built on their Anfield victory with first-half strikes from Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum sandwiching an unfortunate James Milner own goal.
Needing four unanswered goals to force extra time, Roma piled on the pressure in the second half, but failed to repeat their incredible quarter-final comeback against Barcelona despite Edin Dzeko finding the net and a late double from Radja Nainggolan.
Liverpool will take on holders Real in the final at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium on May 26 in a repeat of the 1981 decider which the English side won 1-0.
It would be recalled that Klopp led Borussia Dortmund to the 2013 UEFA Champions League final against rivals, Bayern Munchen, in which Klopp side lost 2-1.
This will be third time Klopp will be leadin Liverpool to the final of a major competition. First was the final of the English Carling Cup now Carabao Cup, which his team lost to Manchester City. He also led Liverpool to the final of the Europa League which his team lost 3-1 to Sevilla. Now he is facing Zinedine Zidane led Real Madrid, who are the defending champions of the competition after winning the trophy back-to-back.
No doubt, it will certainly be a top mountain to climb for the Liverpool players, but, Liverpool have been known to always spring up surprises at the big stage.