Liverpool will come up against three Real Madrid players this evening who could have moved to Anfield instead. The Reds will see what they missed out on.
It’s the UEFA Champions Leauge final tonight as Liverpool face Real Madrid. This will be a repeat of the 2018 final, of course, and the 1981 final for that matter. The two teams have quite the history.
Liverpool haven’t actually changed all that much since 2018, though. Only three players in the XI are any different and the Reds feel they’ve upgraded on each. It’s hard to argue against that, certainly.
Real, though, have been busy over the last four years. They’ve seen vital players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos depart the club and have attempted to build on youth.
And some of the players they’ve moved for were reportedly Liverpool targets. The Reds get to see what they missed out on in Paris, then.
Real Madrid players who could have been at Liverpool
The Telegraph reported just yesterday that Liverpool were the first club to try and sign Vinicius from Flamengo. Scouts contacted the Brazilian giants and told people at Liverpool that they should move for the teenage forward.
But it didn’t happen. Liverpool hesitated and a fine performance at the South American Under 17 championship caused attention on Vinicius to skyrocket. Real would complete a deal for him and after an understandably slow start, the Brazilian is thriving right now.
Karim Benzema believes his teammate is one of the ‘top five’ players in the world. While we wouldn’t go that far, he’ll be a massive threat to Liverpool in Paris.
Sport claimed back in early 2020 that Liverpool wanted Camavinga, along with Real. Neither side got a deal done, however, and the Frenchman remained with Rennes for another year.
Real eventually signed him on a free transfer – presumably after asking him to see out his Rennes deal. He’s gone on to play a key role in their Champions League success this season with an impact role from the bench.
We imagine Carlo Ancelotti will ask him to do the same tonight.
It’s pretty clear now that Liverpool tried to sign Rodrygo well before Real got involved for the player. OKDiario claimed as much back in 2020. Santos coach, Elano, then confirmed that late last year.
“There was a period when there was a very strong negotiation from Liverpool for him to leave when he was still very young,” Elano told ESPN.
“The values were very low, but he wanted to go. Real’s offer later was around 30 million euros [around £25m] more.
“I had a conversation with people at Santos and I said that the boy was worth the bet and we should raise him because I would like to work with him.”
This was unquestionably the closest Liverpool came to one of these talents. All it would have taken is a little less trust in Rodrygo’s potential and they’d have sold to the Reds on the cheap.
Instead, the Brazilian will almost certainly feature in the Champions League final tonight for Liverpool’s opponents.