Liverpool’s 2018 UCL final XI vs. Real Madrid – Where Are They Now

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Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Liverpool will face off against Real Madrid later this month in a rematch of the 2018 UEFA Champions League final, where this time Jurgen Klopp’s side will be looking out for revenge.

The fixture that took place in Kyiv four years ago still holds a dark hold over Liverpool supporters, with Mohamed Salah dislocating his shoulder early in the match and Loris Karius also playing most of the fixture with a concussion as the Reds lost 3-1.

Four years is a long time in football, though, and ahead of the anticipated rematch in Paris, Liverpool have since won the Champions League whilst Madrid are making their first final since that fateful encounter in 2018.

Much has changed since then, and ahead of the next chapter between Liverpool and Madrid, we take a look at the Reds’ starting XI on that night in Ukraine, and where the players who represented Klopp’s side are nowadays.

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GK – Loris Karius

Current club: Liverpool

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

One game can rarely send a player’s career spiralling downwards, yet that’s exactly what happened to Karius against Madrid, where the German keeper allowed two horrendous mistakes to gift Los Blancos two goals.

Still on Liverpool’s books, Karius has never played for Liverpool again and a permanent transfer has been proven to pull off, with loan moves to Besiktas and Union Berlin being unsuccessful, though the shot-stopper’s contract is due to expire this summer.

RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold

Current club: Liverpool

The 2017/18 season was one that saw Trent Alexander-Arnold fully break into the Liverpool first-team, and the England international has hardly looked back since asserting himself as the club’s starting right-back.

Arguably the best in his position in the world, Alexander-Arnold will be looking for revenge against Madrid in Paris this month, with the Liverpool defender looking to add a second Champions League title to his growing trophy cabinet.

CB – Dejan Lovren

Current club: Zenit Saint Petersburg

Goran Stanzl/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

With Joe Gomez and Joel Matip both out through injury, Dejan Lovren was the one to start in central defence against Madrid after the 70-cap Croatian international played a key role in getting Liverpool to the final in Kyiv.

Now with Russian giants Zenit Saint Petersburg after leaving Liverpool in 2020, Lovren has continued to win silverware since departing Anfield, with the defender winning two Russian Premier League titles as well as the Russian Super Cup.

CB – Virgil van Dijk

Current club: Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool five months before the Champions League final against Madrid, and to say that the £75m arrival of the Netherlands international changed the club would be something of an understatement.

The defender has been a titan for Liverpool ever since stepping foot at Anfield, and Van Dijk was key behind the Reds’ Champions League triumph against Tottenham one year later in Madrid.

LB – Andy Robertson

Current club: Liverpool

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

As with Alexander-Arnold, the 2017/18 season put Andy Robertson on the map, and the fullback pairing, arguably the best in Premier League history, have not looked back since this historic and breakout campaign.

Robertson has been key for Liverpool this season and will be eager to head into the summer with Scotland in top form, and redemption against Madrid will be the perfect way for the fullback to cap off the club season.

CM – Georginio Wijnaldum

Current club: PSG

A fundamental player to Liverpool’s success under Klopp in recent years, Georginio Wijnaldum will always hold a special place in the hearts of supporters for his incredible performances on the biggest of stages, namely against FC Barcelona in 2019.

However, despite this, it didn’t stop the Dutch international from joining PSG last summer. And according to reports, Wijnaldum is already keen on leaving the Parisian club, with a return to the Premier League on the cards, if the papers are to be believed.

CM – Jordan Henderson

Current club: Liverpool

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Jordan Henderson’s role as captain of Liverpool has taken on a life of its own in recent seasons, with the Merseyside skipper proving himself to be a man of Merseyside and an influential member of Klopp’s dressing room

The midfielder lifted the Champions League one year after Liverpool’s disastrous defeat to Madrid in Ukraine, and this year, Henderson will be out to rewrite history and to get one over the Spanish giants this time in France.

CM – James Milner

Current club: Liverpool

36-years-old and still going strong at Liverpool, James Milner recently fired home a key penalty in the Reds shootout win against Chelsea in the FA Cup final, and this skillset could come in handy against Madrid in the final.

As one of the oldest outfield players in the Champions League this season, Milner will be up against fellow old boys Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in Paris later this month, and the Liverpool Swiss army knife could come out on top if his teammates pull off the job to the letter.

RW – Mohamed Salah

Current club: Liverpool

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

If Karius’ concussion and mistakes was the main story of the final, then Salah’s early injury and tears as he walked off the pitch was the prelude to the horror show that was Liverpool’s 2018 Champions League final against Madrid.

The winger injured his shoulder after a tangle with Sergio Ramos, a foul that caused so much outcry that Egyptians threatened to sue the Spanish defender with Salah’s 2018 FIFA World Cup on the line following the tussle, though the attacker did manage to compete in Russia, in the end.

ST – Roberto Firmino

Current club: Liverpool

Roberto Firmino might not be a guaranteed starter anymore for Liverpool, but it’s easy to forget just how good the Brazilian attacker was during his best years with the Reds in the famed attacking three.

This season alone saw the attacker bag ten goals in the Champions League alone, and whilst Firmino was largely quiet in the final, the attacker’s influence on getting Liverpool to the final was massive.

LW – Sadio Mane

Current club: Liverpool

Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

The scorer on the day for Liverpool and the first Senegal player to ever find the back of the net in the Champions League final, Sadio Mane will be looking to inflict more pain on Madrid ahead of the Reds’ rematch in Paris.

With over 20 goals in all competitions this season, Mane is in ideal form to face Madrid, and after suffering the pain of the defeat back in 2018, the African superstar will want to make history for Liverpool against Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

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