The 4️⃣ big questions after the Champions League final ❓ | OneFootball

The 4️⃣ big questions after the Champions League final ❓

Logo: OneFootball

OneFootball

Dan Burke

Real Madrid got their hands on the 14th European crown in the club’s history after an extraordinary final victory over Liverpool in Paris.

Here are four questions to ponder as we close the book on the 2021/22 season.


Who will take responsibility for the pre-match shambles?

Ensuring football supporters are able to enter a stadium safely and on time for kick-off should be taken as read.

However, on Saturday we were left with a frustrating situation in which thousands of Liverpool fans were unable to get into the Stade de France on time.

Many of them subjected to heavy handed treatment and even pepper spray from the local police and security forces.

It was nothing short of a disgrace and Uefa must take responsibility.

While some supporters may have misbehaved, the vast majority were patient and well behaved.

Sincere apologies and compensation should be forthcoming and something like this cannot be allowed to happen again.

The fact that kick-off was delayed until 21:36 to ensure that the opening ceremony could take place was the final insult.


What next for Liverpool?

We need to have a think about how we define success and failure in football.

A week ago, Liverpool went into the final day of the Premier League season with an outside chance of pulling off a historic quadruple.

And now that they’ve finished the season with “only” the EFL Cup and the FA Cup. Detractors will no doubt be queuing up to stick the boot in.

Reaching 92 league points and three finals is unquestionably a brilliant season and Liverpool haven’t failed, they have simply just fallen short of unimaginable greatness.

Jürgen Klopp’s side can take so much heart from their efforts this season and they are in a great position to go again next season.

It will be a summer of small changes at Anfield, with Sadio Mané’s future at the club in doubt and one or two other players likely to need replacing.

However, with Mohamed Salah confirming before the final that he will definitely stay next season, the building blocks are all still in place for Klopp to continue his success.


How good are Real Madrid?

After they pulled off remarkable comebacks against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City in their run to the final, perhaps it was written in the stars that Real Madrid would win their 14th Champions League title this season.

However, for all their brilliant composure at the highest level, there remains a sense that this iteration of Real Madrid is probably not the best team in all of Europe this season.

They won the LaLiga title at a canter but they did so largely unchallenged, and they came so close to being knocked out of the Champions League on so many occasions that it isn’t easy to understand how they actually managed to win it.

Even in the final they scored the winning goal with their first shot on target and their goal at the other end lived a charmed life at times.

This team needs a refresh with the likes of Karim Benzema and Luka Modrić unable to go on forever and Kylian Mbappé’s decision to remain at PSG makes the summer rebuild tougher than it might have been.

Nevertheless, it has been a triumphant season, and with young players like Vinícius Júnior and Éder Militão, they will remain competitive for a long time to come.


Does Benzema actually deserve the Ballon d’Or?

If anyone is most likely to win football’s most prestigious individual prize this year, it’s Real Madrid’s talismanic captain.

Benzema finished the season with an incredible 44 goals in 46 appearances, not to mention LaLiga and Champions League winners’ medals.

But he wasn’t at his very best in the final, and Los Blancos would not have won it without the brilliance of their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

The Belgian made a record nine saves in the final, many of which were outrageously good, and this performance surely rubber stamps his status as the world’s best goalkeeper this season.

Hell might freeze over before a goalkeeper wins the Ballon d’Or but Courtois made a compelling case for himself in Paris.