In their first Champions League final since the 2019 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool are back and are bidding to win their second European Cup under Jurgen Klopp and seventh in all.
Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez all played key roles in the 2019 winning campaign and are all likely to at least be in Saturday night’s match day squad.
Liverpool are looking to exact revenge on Real Madrid, having lost to the Los Blancos in the 2018 final in Kyiv. In turn, Real Madrid were looking to pay Liverpool back in that final for their 1-0 defeat to the Reds in Paris in 1981.
With only three English clubs (Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea) having won the trophy twice since its rebranding in 1992 from the European Cup to the Champions League, and all of those wins being distant from the other, Henderson, Alexander-Arnold and Gomez will be joining an elite club should they beat Real Madrid in Saturday’s showpiece.
Including the likes of Steve McManaman, Gary Neville and Owen Hargreaves, Sportsmail takes you through the English players to have won one of football’s greatest prizes twice.
Jordan Henderson (c) is bidding to lift the trophy twice as captain – only one other Englishmen has achieved that feat
Having departed an ailing Liverpool in 1999 for Real Madrid, on the face of it it would have appeared that McManaman was stepping into an environment where winning the Champions League was an inevitability.
That was not the case when the he arrived in the Spanish capital, with Los Blancos in the midst of a debt-ridden crisis that saw them forced to sell the likes of Davor Suker and Predrag Mijatović while they released Clarence Seedorf. All three players had played in Real Madrid’s 1998 triumph over Juventus a year prior, with Mijatović scoring the only goal.
A difficult start turned into the dream end for McManaman’s first season. John Toshack, both a household name in Liverpool and Madrid, had been sacked in November as the coach and replaced by Vincente Del Bosque.
Steve McManaman lifts his first Champions League trophy in Paris after beating Valencia
Del Bosque guided Real Madrid to the final of the competition, via tricky ties against the holders Manchester United and 1999’s runners-up Bayern Munich, where they beat Valencia 3-0.
McManaman put in a man of the match display, with his second half volley clinching the game for Real Madrid before Raul added a third.
Sir Alex Ferguson said of his performance that night: ‘I thought McManaman was excellent, there is no question he was man of the match. He was a threat all night and gave Real great penetration from midfield.’
The Liverpool native was awarded man of the match by the English media after his display
His 2000 triumph meant he was the first English player ever to win Europe’s showpiece trophy with a foreign club.
The Liverpool native would not enjoy the same personal success in 2002, when Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park, remembered of course for Zinedine Zidane’s famous strike.
However, he became the first English player to have won the Champions League twice as Real Madrid claimed their ninth European Cup in all.
The former Manchester United captain’s delight at Liverpool missing out on the opportunity to better Sir Alex Ferguson’s achievement in 1999 has brought the treble back into sharp focus.
The right-back formed a key part of United’s 1999 side, providing attacking impetus as well defensive nous on a right-hand side that unsually contained Ryan Giggs for this final.
Manchester United found themselves on the ropes for much of the final at the Nou Camp, with Neville and his fellow three defenders working overtime as United’s midfield, missing Roy Keane through suspension, was breached time and again.
Gary Neville (r) and team-mates celebrate on the pitch after astonishing comeback in 1999
What happened in the final minutes of the game, after Bayern Munich fans had already let off some celebratory flares in their end, will forever be written into United folklore.
‘The second goal goes in and literally I’m planked on the floor on my back. Literally, I think I nearly actually went into tears. I was emotional, I was screaming,’ he told Sportbible of that final moment.
‘My first words to Ole were “you have no idea what you’ve just done, you’ve just created history in that moment”. It was mind-blowing,’ he added.
Gary Neville, clad in his club suit and match-day jacket, lifts the trophy to the delight of his team-mates
Neville’s part in the 2008 double-winning season of the Premier League and Champions League was limited to one appearance, when he came off the bench against Roma in the quarter-finals of European competiton.
He was not selected for the squad having missed the entire season, barring the nine minute cameo against Roma.
Like Keane in 1999, Neville was reluctant to accept plaudits for the 2008 win, but the record books tell their own story.
One of the younger members of Manchester United’s 1999 winning squad, Wes Brown did not make it off the bench for the famous night in Barcelona.
Asked about which team in the past was better, United’s 1999 vintage of the 2008 side, Brown said: ‘I would always say ’99 for the simple fact we did the treble. I always think the ’08 season we underachieved by getting beaten in the FA Cup.
‘So disappointing to this day. If you are putting trophies together like that then you have to say ’99.’
Wes Brown celebrates the 2008 success with team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo – the person on the right would go on to win four more
His influence in the 2008 final, however, should not be understated.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first half header, climbing above Michael Essien while leaving Petr Cech planted to the ground, is well revered but Wes Brown’s cross, with his weaker foot is always highly regarded on the terraces of Old Trafford.
The photos from the final tell the story of age and how a footballer is regarded within the squad according to that. In the shots from 1999, Brown looks every bit the 20-year-old kid he is; a junior member of the team learning his way. In 2008, it is clear he held much more influence.
The maestro central midfielder, Paul Scholes, says of the 1999 win that he was ’embarrassed’ to be seen lifting the trophy.
Oft-forgotten amid the stories of Keane’s suspension amid his heroic second leg performance in Turin, Scholes too was suspended for a challenge on Didier Deschamps.
He said: ‘Some people say that’s strange because you played a part of the 15-16 games to get to where you are but you’re in the stands and have no control over the game. There is nothing you can do influence that game of football.’
Booked for a foul on Didier Deschamps in the semi-finals, Scholes missed the final in Barcelona
Certainly a more delighted Paul Scholes than the one who reluctantly held the trophy in 2008
‘It’s football,’ he said of his suspension. ‘Roy (Keane) was a big loss, but it’s football. It wasn’t a bad tackle and I can hear Deschamps screaming now trying to get me booked! They were clever but it was my own fault.
‘You know straight away and you’re sad, you’re upset, of course you are, not to be part of the selection for the biggest game of our lives but you get on with it.’
Fortunately for Scholes, he did get to experience a Champions League final in all its glory, starting in the middle of the park alongside Michael Carrick.
Scholes received a booking about midway through the first half and had to tread a fine line throughout, eventually being withdrawn three minutes from the end of normal time meaning he was not on to take a spotkick.
Perhaps with Neville and Brown there is nothing like the first time, but Scholes remembers Moscow more fondly than he does Barcelona.
The former Bayern Munich and Manchester United man is, alongside his now-BT Sport colleague, the only English player to win the Champions League with a non-English club.
Owen Hargreaves played a key role in both of his Champions League successes, playing the entire 120 minutes as both finals went to penalties.
In his first success, Bayern Munich returned to the Champions League final two years on from their Barcelona heartbreak and were immediately behind after Gazika Mendieta slotted away a penalty inside three minutes.
A young Owen Hargreaves lifts the Champions League for Bayern Munich in 2001
Bayern Munich eventually equalised through Steffan Effenberg before winning 5-4 on penalties ensuring double agony for Valencia having lost the final the previous year.
Hargreaves, in his first season with Manchester United, claimed the prize again and was again deemed to important to the sides fortunes to be hooked at any moment and played the entire game. His penalty, United’s fourth in the shootout, was decisive after Ronaldo had missed the third.
Rather tragically, Hargreaves would only go on to play for the club a handful of times as his career was blighted by a number of serious injuries.
Another player whose career was blighted by injuries, but still managed to pick up two Champions League winners medals.
With Chelsea camped in their own half for much of the 2012 final, before Didier Drogba popped up late on to equalise, manager Roberto Di Matteo saw little necessity to introduce another striker.
To get to the final Chelsea had locked down the barricades, and their policy in the final of containing Bayern Munich meant Sturridge did not get on.
That kit won’t need washing: Daniel Sturridge celebrates his first Champions League success
However, having made seven appearances in the competition that year Sturridge duly celebrated his and the team’s success against all the odds.
Having begun life at Liverpool in sensational fashion, scoring 21 league goals in 2013/14 alone, Sturridge’s time on Merseyside rather petered out and his departure was not met with the anguish that it might have once been.
However, his last involvement with Liverpool was at the 2018/19 final – again, he did not get on but received another winners medal. It meant Sturridge became the first English player to win the competition with two separate English clubs.
Despite once again not getting onto the field of play, Daniel Sturridge won another medal