PARIS – Vinicius Junior scored the game’s only goal as Real Madrid beat Liverpool 1-0 in Saturday’s Champions League final in Paris and became king of Europe for the 14th time after a night marred by problems off-field as the game was delayed for more than half an hour.
Brazilian winger Vinicius converted a low cross from Fede Valverde in the 59th minute at the Stade de France and Liverpool could not equalize as Jurgen Klopp’s side faced the Spanish giants in a Champions League final for the second time in five lost seasons.
Liverpool will wonder what would have happened if the towering Thibaut Courtois hadn’t pushed Sadio Mane’s shot inside the post as they were up front in the first half when they missed a treble trophy.
Winners of the English League Cup and FA Cup that season, they narrowly missed Manchester City’s Premier League title and were denied a win here that would have put them level with AC Milan in seven European Cups.
“These guys have played an outstanding season. We didn’t win the two competitions that we couldn’t win with the smallest margin possible,” Klopp said.
Instead, Real have a fifth Champions League in nine seasons to accompany the Spanish title as Carlo Ancelotti becomes the first manager to win European club football’s biggest prize for the fourth time.
Ancelotti was also responsible for Real who won the final in 2014 after triumphing with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, the latter beating Liverpool.
“We handled the game very well,” said Ancelotti, who described himself as a “record man”.
“I was lucky to come here last year and have a fantastic season. A fantastic club, a very good team with a lot of quality and mental character,” he said.