Real Madrid make it three in a row

26 May 2018

Real Madrid make it three in a row

Players line up for the final in Kiev

It was one of the most highly anticipated UEFA Champions League finals in recent years, as holders Real Madrid met five-time winners Liverpool at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on Saturday. The Spanish giants were looking to claim the title for a third year in a row, while the Reds were aiming to win Europe’s top club prize for the first time since 2005. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Zidane and Klopp all smiles before kick-off

Before kick-off, it was all smiles between Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp. The last time these two clubs met in a European Cup final was in Paris in 1981 when the Reds defeated Real 1-0. It was the last time _Los Blancos_ had lost in the final of the competition. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

  • Real Madrid claim third-straight UEFA Champions League title

  • Spanish giants defeat Liverpool 3-1 to return to FIFA Club World Cup

  • Substitute Gareth Bale scores spectacular overhead kick for the holders

Real Madrid claimed a third-straight UEFA Champions League title with a 3-1 victory over Liverpool at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev on Saturday. It was the 13th time the Spanish giants were crowned kings of Europe.

This victory also earned Zinedine Zidane's side a return to the FIFA Club World Cup as Europe's representative later this year, with Real Madrid looking to defend the world title they won in the UAE in late 2017.

A goalless first half proved notable for injuries to Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal that forced them out of Saturday's final. Karim Benzema then gave the Spaniards the lead shortly after the break before Sadio Mane levelled matters for the Reds.

It was substitute Gareth Bale that proved to be Real Madrid's hero, as he scored a spectacular overhead kick shortly after coming into the match before striking a late second goal to seal victory for Los Blancos.

FIFA.com breaks down the biggest moments of Saturday's final with a photo gallery.