Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville joked earlier this month that he may need to leave the country for a year if Liverpool win the Champions League and Chelsea win the FA Cup final after Manchester City wrapped up the Premier League title.
Chelsea did win the FA Cup, defeating Jose Mourinho’s side 1-0 at Wembley last Saturday, and Liverpool can now complete a nightmare season for Neville and his fellow United supporters by beating Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are the underdogs against the Spanish giants, who have won the last two European Cups, but they certainly have the players to seriously trouble their star-studded opponents at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
Mohamed Salah is, of course, Liverpool’s danger man. However, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have been almost as brilliant as the world-class Egyptian forward in the Champions League this season.
Real Madrid’s back-four and goalkeeper Keylor Navas have their work cut out keeping a clean sheet against the Reds’ magnificent attacking trio.
Much will probably depend on who wins the midfield battle. Can Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson and James Milner get the better of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos?
They are the ones who supply Real Madrid’s forwards, including the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be desperate to shine brighter than every other player on the pitch.
What McIlroy has said before the CL final
Pretty much every United fan will be praying for a Ronaldo winner in Kiev. The sight of Liverpool lifting their European Cup will be extremely difficult to swallow.
Well, we say pretty much every United fan. Top golfer Rory McIlroy, who has made no secret of his love for the Red Devils over the years, has caused a stir by admitting he wants to see Liverpool lift the prestigious trophy on Saturday night.
“I think it’s great that a British team is in the final,” McIlroy said in a press conference. “If Liverpool can start off the match like they did in the first leg against Roma, they’ve got a great chance.
“As much as I’m a United fan and United fans are supposed to hate Liverpool, I think it would be great to see a British team win.”
McIlroy has been hammered by United fans
Needless to say, McIlroy has been slaughtered by United fans for these comments on social media.
How dare he want a British team to win the Champions League.
In fairness, it’s safe to assume that very few Liverpool supporters - if any - were hoping United would beat Barcelona back in 2009 and 2011.
A football rivalry is a football rivalry 24/7, 365 days a year.