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The UEFA Champions League final is set to go down in the famous Stade De France in Paris, with Liverpool looking to banish the ghosts of that 2018 night in Kiev.
However, a new-look Real Madrid will also be desperate to make a name for themselves on the biggest stage in the game and carve out their own page in the annuls of Madrid folklore.
Both sides are at the peak of their powers, boasting squads brimming with ridiculous talent, but just which of the two has the better options to call on?
Well, in a bid to try and answer that question, we thought we would rank each and every member of the two squads using a handy Tiermaker.
The class system is simple, ranging from ‘Genuinely world class’ to ‘Lucky to be there’, we simply whacked each and every player in the category in which we believe they belong.
LISBON, PORTUGAL – AUGUST 18: The UEFA Champions League Trophy is seen pitch side prior to the UEFA Champions League Semi Final match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain F.C at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on August 18, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
You may not agree with every pick but, there is just no room for sentiment when conducting this kind of exercise.
Liverpool and Real Madrid squads ranked
Starting at the bottom, we have a look at the lads who are perhaps a little lucky to be jetting off to a Champions League final.
Now, we are by no means saying they are awful footballers, just not quite up to the standard now required at these two clubs.
Lucky to be there
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Another rung of the ladder that may not be entirely popular, but these few stars, while still incredibly talented footballers, may just be riding on the coat tails of a reputation that isn’t quite justified.
Drifting into ever so slightly more positive waters, we come across a bunch who, we feel, just don’t get enough respect for what they are capable of on the pitch.
VALENCIA, SPAIN – AUGUST 22: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid looks on during the La Liga Santader match between Levante UD and Real Madrid CF at Ciutat de Valencia Stadium on August 22, 2021 in Valencia, . (Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images)
Middle of the road
Now before you start your protests, the middle of the road category belongs to those stars who we feel are incredibly handy, but are not quite the game-changers that some of their teammates are.
You would think that any manager in the world would still be more than happy to have them in his squad.
Soccer Football – Premier League – Watford v Liverpool – Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain – October 16, 2021 Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino acknowledges the fans with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Now we’re getting into the tricky bit. Trying to differentiate between the myriad of talented players in these squads is no easy task, but we felt these lads just didn’t have quite enough to be considered on the same level as some of their colleagues.
PAMPLONA, SPAIN – APRIL 20: Marco Asensio of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal during the LaLiga Santander match between CA Osasuna and Real Madrid CF at Estadio El Sadar on April 20, 2022 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
The second-highest honour on the board. This gaggle of superstars are some of the most talented players on the planet, but we just didn’t quite feel it was right to call them genuinely world class.