For once in a Champions League final, Cristiano Ronaldo will yield some of the spotlight to another player sweeping up adulation and personal acclaim.
While five-time world player of the year Ronaldo is chasing a record fifth Champions League triumph, and fourth with Real Madrid, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is chasing a first. Not just a first Champions League success, but a first major title in football in his maiden cup final.
Victory in Kiev's Olympic Stadium on Saturday would be a fitting climax to an astonishing debut season at Liverpool for Salah. A season when the Egyptian seized his second chance at a Premier League club with gusto after a faltering spell at Chelsea.
Salah has had such a devastating impact that he poses a serious threat to the decade of dominance of the world player of the year award by Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
"Comparing players with Ronaldo and Messi is something you can't do," Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos said on Friday. "They're in another orbit. There are players who are in fashion, those who come and go and others who stay around.
"Salah is a top player, that's clear. He's shown that this year and he's got a great chance to show that over the next few years as Ronaldo and Messi have done — but the day after tomorrow."
While lacking the flashy touch of Ronaldo, and presenting the image of a more modest lifestyle on social media, the "Egyptian King" is as adept at harnessing his commercial appeal. In recent weeks, Salah could be found at news conferences promoting a cellphone company, a logistics firm and taxi service. No wonder Salah is making the most of his newly-elevated status in the global game. In 2014, when Ronaldo reached the first of his four Champions League finals with Madrid, Salah was just completing his first five months drifting in and out of the Chelsea team.
Salah never settled and was eventually discarded by the west London club after only 13 appearances under Jose Mourinho. In Italy, a career-stalling was reignited at Roma and Liverpool came calling last year.
With a mouth-watering contest on the cards between two of the biggest European clubs, here is all you need to know.
When and where will the Champions League final be played?
The Champions League final will be played between Real Madrid and Liverpool on Sunday, 26 May at Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kiev.
How do I watch the game live?
The match will be shown live on SONY TEN 2 & HD
What time will the live coverage start?
The live coverage of the Real Madrid vs Liverpool match will start at 12:45 am.
Where can I follow the match online?
The match will be shown live on SONY LIV. For live commentary and updates, you can also follow our live blog on Firstpost.com
With inputs from AP
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Updated Date: May 26, 2018 11:31:05 IST