The bad news for Liverpool is that European Cup finals repeated in quick succession often produce the same winner. Real Madrid, for example.
There have been nine different repeat finals in European Cup history. AC Milan and Benfica met in 1963 and 1990. AC Milan and Ajax competed in 1969 and 1995. Ajax and Juventus dueled in 1973 and 1996. Real Madrid and Juventus met in 1998 and 2017. Real Madrid and Liverpool met in 1981 and 2018. .
In each of these examples, at least 19 years had passed between the two games, and thus the teams were different in all but name.
But in five cases, the European Cup finals were repeated in quick succession. Real Madrid-Liverpool will be the first showpiece to take place three times and, as seen before, that gap of just four years or less between games offers an interesting insight into what changes and what stays the same in the interim.
The bad news for Liverpool, finalists beaten by Real Madrid in 2018, is that European Cup finals are repeated so soon after that the other usually produces the same winner. Only once has this not been the case, and that was when the Reds themselves lost to AC Milan in 2007 after beating the Italians two years earlier. And it tends to be Los Blancos who inflict back-to-back bouts of heartbreak on the same team.
Real Madrid-Stade de Reims (1956 and 1959)
1956: Real Madrid 4 Reims 3
1959: Real Madrid 2 Reims 0
1956: Real Madrid 4 (Di Stéfano, Rial x2, Marquitos) Reims 3 (Leblond, Templin, Hidalgo)
1959: Real Madrid 2 (Mateos, Di Stéfano) Reims 0
1956: Real Madrid – Jose Villalonga
1959: Real Madrid-Luis Carniglia
1956: Reims-Albert Batteux
1959: Reims-Albert Batteux
1956: Real Madrid-Alonso; Marquitos, Atienza, Lesmes; Munoz, Zarraga; Joseito, Marsal, Rial, Gento; say stefano
1959: Real Madrid – Dominguez; Marquitos, Santamaria, Zarraga; Santisteban, Ruiz; Kopa, Mateos, Rial, Gento; say stefano
1956: Reims-Jacquet; Zimny, Jonquet, Giraudo; Leblond, Siatka; Hidalgo, Glowacki, Bliard, Templin; cup
1959: Reims-Colonna; Rodzik, Jonquet, Giraudo; Penverne, Leblond; Lamartine, Piantoni, Bliard, Vincent; fountain
Same winners. One player (Alfredo Di Stefano) scored in both finals. The winners changed coaches. The losers kept theirs. Five Real Madrid players started in both finals. Four players from Reims started both finals. Raymond Kopa started both finals, but for different teams.
Liverpool vs. AC Milan (2005 and 2007)
2005: Liverpool 3 AC Milan 3 (3-2 on penalties)
2007: AC Milan 2 Liverpool 1
2005: Liverpool 3 (Gerrard, Smicer, Alonso) AC Milan 3 (Maldini, Crespo x2)
2007: AC Milan 2 (Inzaghi x2) Liverpool 1 (Kuyt)
2005: Liverpool – Rafael Benitez
2007: Liverpool – Rafael Benitez
2005: AC Milan – Carlo Ancelotti
2007: AC Milan – Carlo Ancelotti
2005: Liverpool-Dudek; Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore; Alonzo; Garcia, Gerrard, Riise; Kewell; baros
2007: Liverpool-Queen; Finnan, Carragher, Agger, Riise; Pennant, Alonso, Mascherano, Zenden; Gerrard; Kuyt
2005: AC Milan–Dida; Cafu, Stam, Nesta, Maldini; Gattuso, Kaka, Seedorf; Shevchenko, Crespo
2007: AC Milan – Dida; Oddo, Nesta, Maldini, Jankulovski; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Seedorf; kaka; Inzaghi
2005: Liverpool – Carson, Josemi, Hamann, Nunez, Biscan, Cissé, Smicer
2007: Liverpool – Dudek, Arbeloa, Hyypia, Kewell, Gonzalez, Crouch, Bellamy
2007: AC Milan – Abbiati, Kaladze, Costacurta, Rui Costa, Dhorasoo, Serginho, Dahl Tomasson
2007: AC Milan – Kalac, Cafu, Kaladze, Favalli, Serginho, Brocchi, Gilardino
Different winners. No player scored in both finals. Both clubs kept their managers. Five Liverpool players started in both finals. Six AC Milan players started both finals. No Liverpool substitutes from 2005 were still with the club in the 2007 final (Scott Carson and Djibril Cisse were on loan for the season).
Barcelona-Manchester United (2009 and 2011)
2009: Barcelona 2 Manchester United 0
2011: Barcelona 3 Manchester United 1
2009: Barcelona 2 (Eto’o, Messi) Manchester United 0
2011: Barcelona 3 (Pedro, Messi, Villa) Manchester United 1 (Rooney)
2009: Barcelona – Pep Guardiola
2011: Barcelona – Pep Guardiola
2009: manchester united – Sir Alex Ferguson
2011: Manchester United – Sir Alex Ferguson
2009: Barcelona – Valdes; Puyol, Touré, Pique, Sylvinho; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Henry, Eto’o
2011: Barcelona – Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Hammered, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Villa, Messi, Pedro
2009: Manchester United-Van der Sar; O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Anderson, Carrick, Giggs; Park, Ronaldo, Rooney
2011: Manchester United-Van der Sar; Fabio, Fernando, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park; Rooney; Hernandez
2009: Barcelona – Pinto, Cáceres, Muniesa, Keita, Gudjohnsen, Bojan, Pedro
2011: Barcelona – Oier, Puyol, Adriano, Keita, Afellay, Thiago, Bojan
2009: Manchester United – Kuszczak, Rafael, Evans, Nani, Scholes, Berbatov, Tevez
2011: Manchester United: Kuszczak, Smalling, Anderson, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Owen
Same winners. One player (Lionel Messi) scored in both finals. Both clubs kept their managers. Six Barcelona players started in both finals. Eight Manchester United players started in both finals. Anderson and Carlos Puyol started the first final and went down to the bench for the second.
How did Alex Ferguson allow Guardiola to use it and win 2 Champions League finals?
— Ifeanyichukwu ☢️ (@Myka_veli) May 5, 2022
Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid (2014 and 2016)
2014: Real Madrid 4 Atletico Madrid 1 (AET)
2016: Real Madrid 1 Atlético de Madrid 1 (5-3 on penalties)
2014: Real Madrid 4 (Ramos, Bale, Marcelo, Ronaldo) Atlético de Madrid 1 (Godín)
2016: Real Madrid 1 (Ramos) Atletico Madrid 1 (Carrasco)
2014: Real Madrid-Carlo Ancelotti
2016: Real Madrid – Zinedine Zidane
2014: Atletico Madrid – Diego Simeone
2016: Atletico Madrid – Diego Simeone
2014: Real Madrid-Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao; Modric, Khedira, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
2016: Real Madrid-Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
2014: Atlético de Madrid – Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luis; Raul Garcia, Tiago, Gabi, Koke; Diego CostaVilla
2016: Atletico Madrid-Oblak; Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Filipe Luis; Saul, Gabi, Fernandez, Koke; Griezmann; towers
2014: Real Madrid – López, Pepe, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Isco, Illaramendi, Morata
2016: Real Madrid – Casilla, Nacho, Danilo, J. Rodríguez, Vázquez, Isco, Jese
2014: Atlético de Madrid – Aranzubia, Alderweireld, Suárez, C. Rodríguez, Sosa, Diego, Adrián
2016: Atletico Madrid – Moya, Hernandez, Gimenez, Tiago, Carrasco, Partey, Correa
Same winners. One player (Sergio Ramos) scored in both finals. The winners changed coaches. The losers kept theirs. Six Real Madrid players started in both finals. Five Atlético de Madrid players started in both finals. One player (Isco) entered as a substitute in both finals.
Real Madrid-Liverpool (2018 and 2022)
2018: Real Madrid 3 Liverpool 1
2018: Real Madrid 3 (Benzema, Bale x2) Liverpool 1 (Mane)
2018: Real Madrid – Zinedine Zidane
2018: Liverpool – Jurgen Klopp
2018: Real Madrid-Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo
2018: Liverpool–Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
2018: Real Madrid – Casilla, Nacho, Hernandez, Asensio, Kovacic, Bale, Vazquez
2018: Liverpool – Mignolet, Clyne, Klavan, Moreno, Lallana, Can, Solanke
Real Madrid has changed its coach. Liverpool have not. Since then, four Real Madrid starters have left for good. Since then, two Liverpool starters have left permanently, while Loris Karius somehow remains; the 2018 final remains his last appearance for the club. Since then, three Real Madrid substitutes have left permanently. Since then, all Liverpool substitutes have left permanently.