1. ITV Report

Liverpool and Spurs fans arrive in Spanish capital of Madrid for Champions League final

  • Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott

Liverpool and Spurs fans are starting to make their way to Madrid for the first all-English Champions League final in 11 years.

The two sides are gearing up for the European final on Saturday night after both defied expectations with miraculous comebacks in the semi-final.

While supporters are already enjoying the “festival” atmosphere in a city well used to hosting major sporting events, some have criticised the decision not to set up a big screen during the game.

“These types of events, they are corporate events there’s no denying it, the fans don’t get that many tickets anymore,” one Liverpool fan told ITV news.

“They’re killing the game to be honest, we’ve tried to do it for as cheap as possible and it’s still costing us hundreds and hundreds of quid.”

One family of Spurs fans, who visit Madrid every year and fortunately booked this year’s trip before their side made it to the final, said they were “surprised” not to see a big screen.

“To be honest I was quite surprised that they’re not showing it on a big screen somewhere,” they said.

“With the atmosphere it’s been amazing so that would have just been brilliant to be able to sit down and watch it on a big screen.”

Miguel Sanz, director of tourism for Madrid, said it was a decision taken by several partners “based on security”.

He said: “That was a decision taken together by the organisers, the city, the police forces and UEFA and the clubs.”

He added: “It’s a decision taken by the organising committee based on security, based on what is best to [make sure] that everyone is having a fun time.”

With or without tickets, fans are looking forward to the final even without a big screen and are happy to soak up the atmosphere in the Spanish capital.

One Liverpool fan’s plans were dashed when his friend’s car was full up, forcing him to fly to Ibiza airport, where he met one fan who lives 30 seconds away from him.

He was taken in by the fans into their hotel, where he is planning to sleep on a lilo.

  • Who’s going to win the final?
Jurgen Klopp (left) will go up against Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. Credit: PA

Liverpool are considered clear favourites to list their sixth Champions League trophy on Saturday night after a remarkable Premier League campaign put them on 97 points – a record for a runner-up.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds have also beaten Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs twice already this season and finished a full 26 points ahead of their opponents.

But Spurs are coming into the game on the back of a sensational European run that has seen them survive a tough group including Barcelona and Inter Milan before thrashing Dortmund in the next round.

They then came from behind against Premier League champions Manchester City in the quarter final before staging an incredible comeback from three goals down on aggregate against Ajax in Amsterdam.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who was the last to win a European cup with the Reds in 2005, said he is not ruling out Tottenham and does not necessarily see his old side as the favourites.

He told ITV News: “The fact that there has been 15 days, more or less, to prepare [for] the final, for me means Pochettino, who is a great manager, has been working really hard in terms of what we did and what we did wrong during the league games.

"I’m sure that Jurgen has been doing the same but the point here is that everybody is expecting Liverpool to be stronger, Liverpool to win because of the league.

“But I think Tottenham is a very good team, they have good balance - defence, strong in the middle and very dangerous in attack.

“So I think Pochettino has been working on that and I don’t see any favourite at the moment in the final.”

Former Spurs midfielder Edgar Davids, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, said a first European title would have a huge impact on the north London side.

He said: “I think that the impact would be huge, already now that they are in the Champions League for a couple of years you see that the fanbase is growing.

“Then maybe they can lift that winning spirit for the coming seasons.”