We’re now just days away before Liverpool and Real Madrid go head-to-head in the 2018 Champions League final.
Zinedine Zidane’s side are aiming to win their third European Cup in as many seasons, but standing in their way are Jurgen Klopp’s men.
For Liverpool, this is their biggest match since their last appearance in a Champions League final back in 2007. They will travel to Kiev as the underdogs but that, you suspect, will suit them just fine.
The Reds have shown exactly what they’re capable of during this season’s Champions League campaign.
They’ve answered their critics and doubters at every stage of the competition - and in some style, too - so write them off at your peril.
However, Zidane’s side are the favourites because their recent record in Europe’s premier club competition is extraordinary.
No team had managed to retain the Champions League in its current format until Los Blancos ended their hoodoo last year. Winning it three times in a row would obviously be a truly remarkable achievement.
Real Madrid forced to break CL final superstition
However, per a report from Spanish newspaper AS, Real Madrid have been forced to break their Champions League final superstition before this weekend’s clash at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
The Spanish giants, who finished third in La Liga, have been denied the services of their lucky flight crew for their journey to Kiev.
The reigning European champions were flown to Lisbon in 2014, Milan in 2016 and Cardiff last year on aeroplanes managed by the same crew: captain Juan Ramón Bonet, first officer Alejandro Buxonat and cabin manager Rosa Delia Sosa.
Real Madrid won each final, hence why they regard the crew as lucky.
But they’ve been forced to abandon the tradition this year due to the size of the plane.
"This year, the trip to Kiev will be made in an Airbus A340, which has a broader fuselage, to enable as smooth as possible a journey to Ukraine and to cater for the number of seats that the club has asked for," the airline Iberia, which operates Real Madrid’s Champions League final flights, said.
"The crew that has on previous occasions been responsible for their flights to closer destinations are not qualified to work with this type of aeroplane. They fly the Airbus A321, which is smaller (it is a 200-seater aircraft) and has less autonomy. As is required by the [Spanish] State Agency for Air Safety, they would have to take a three-month course [to gain the necessary credentials], which they haven't."
Instead, Real Madrid’s four-hour trip to Ukraine will be piloted by captain Txomin Baztan and first officer José María Ordovás, with chief attendant Manuel Díaz Pachón.
"Hopefully, we can bring them good luck like Bonet did,” Baztan said. “Otherwise, my kids, who are Real fans, will be mad at me."
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