As both the Tottenham and Liverpool sides make their final preparations for this historic night, excitement is building among both sets of fans in a sun-soaked Madrid – despite ticket shortages and a ban on big screens.
Spurs have reached the Champions League final for the first time in club’s history while Liverpool have reached their second final in as many years after falling to Real Madrid in Kiev in the 2018 edition of the tournament.
The atmosphere in Spain‘s capital is jovial even as both sets of fans traipse around the city in search of spare tickets for the final, and contend with a ruling that will see the fan parks – and their screens – made off limits just before the 8 pm kick off.
Spurs have reached the Champions League final for the first time in club’s history while Liverpool have reached their second final in as many years, leading to a raucous atmosphere at Liverpool Fan Park in the centre of the Spanish capital
General view of Liverpool fans gathered in a fan zone in the centre of Madrid. Many of them wont have tickets due to a small allocation for each side. Liverpool’s mayor tried to remedy that with a big screen but his Madrid counterpart blocked efforts saying that UEFA was behind the decision to close the fan parks two hours before the 8 pm kick off at Wanda Metropolitano
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, who had written to his counterpart in Madrid to request a giant screen to broadcast the match, said ‘UEFA guidance’ was behind the decision.
He added in a tweet on Friday evening: ‘Told 14,000 bars and restaurants and cafes open with screens.’
When news broke of a mere 16,000 tickets being allocated to each team, it was much criticised especially since the final venue – the Wanda Metropolitano – holds nearly 70,000 spectators.
Fans of Tottenham Hotspur cheer ahead of the UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool at Plaza de Colon this morning. Their fans, along with Liverpool’s, have been pictured searching for spare tickers in Madrid
Liverpool fans take a selfie in front of a huge replica of the Champions League trophy in Plaza de Oriente as a Spurs fan makes his allegiances known ahead of tonight’s final
It created a ticket scramble and fans have been pictured this morning holding up signs asking for tickets in a last minute bid. Some people have even been seen in t-shirts with ‘I need a ticket’ printed on the back.
Uefa warned supporters looking for last minute-tickets to be aware of criminals acting as official stewards.
In a statement, a spokesman said: ‘The Spanish police has seized fake steward bibs, fake devices for the technical ticket check, as well as fake accreditations.
Liverpool FC fans enjoy the atmosphere at Liverpool Fan Park ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final against Tottenham
At 8 pm the Estadio Metropolitano will be bursting with nearly 70,000 football fans, but these men may not be included as they don t-shirts and signs in a desperate scramble for tickets ahead of kick off
Fans look for tickets ahead of the Champions League Final at the Estadio Metropolitano, trying their hand at using both Spanish and English on their signs. UEFA officials have warned of fake stewards selling phony tickets at the stadium
‘This makes us believe that an organised group of people, impersonating genuine stewards or officials might try to act as if they were conducting the visual or technical ticket check, with the aim of stealing tickets during such controls.
‘Supporters should therefore make sure they only show their tickets at the clearly marked check zones and not to individuals or small groups of people who could be wearing fake bibs and might approach them on the way to the stadium, outside of the official check zones.’
Graham Owen, from Chester, said he was one of the ‘lucky ones’ to get a ticket, which cost him 60 euros.
A fan of Tottenham Hotspur displays the dribbling ability of Spurs star Lucas Moura as she slaloms through revellers with pints clutched in her hands at the fan park in Plaza de Colon
The atmosphere has ramped up considerably since this morning when those in the streets were a committed few mingling with locals and a smattering of fans looking for spare tickets to the final. Liverpool fans are pictured in downtown Madrid
A man with the Liver Bird of Liverpool tattooed on his chest manages to encapsulate the party atmosphere in the fan zone
The atmosphere in Spain’s capital is jovial even as both sets of fans traipse around the city in search of spare tickets for the final, and contend with a ruling that will see the fan parks – and their screens – made off limits just before kick off
A fan zone has been placed at the Felipe II square for Liverpool fans to gather before heading to the Wanda Metropolitano
The Liverpool supporter said: ‘The allocation is way too low for a 70,000-odd seater stadium to have 16,000 tickets for each team. It doesn’t seem fair that I’ve got a ticket and my mate hasn’t.
‘I’m afraid it’s just money – there will be people at the game in the corporate seats who haven’t got a clue about the game or what’s going on and that’s wrong, to me.’
His friend, Rob Hurst, who has travelled without a ticket, said the amount tickets were trading for on the black market was ‘ridiculous’.
A Liverpool supporter in Madrid enjoys the singing at the fan park as festivities ramp up ahead of tonight’s big game
Liverpool fans in Plaza de Oriente ahead of the match. Spurs have reached the Champions League final for the first time in club’s history while Liverpool have reached their second final in as many years
Tottenham fans cheer ahead of the Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool, at Plaza de Colon
‘It’s all about money, mate,’ he said.
‘The Europa League final was in Baku (Azerbaijan) – how can they have it there? It needs to be Spain, England, Italy or Germany every year, because it’s only really the teams from those countries who usually get to the finals.
‘There should at least be a big screen here. Madrid is one of the best cities in Europe – they’ve got to accommodate the fans.’
Spurs fans pictured in fine voice as the clock ticks towards their side’s first ever Champion’s League final ever
‘Allez Allez Allez’ was the theme tune to Liverpool’s road to Kiev in last year’s tournament. Liverpool fans in Plaza de Oriente
Fans of Tottenham Hotspur enjoy the atmosphere ahead of the UEFA Champions League final where they take on Liverpool
‘Five times!’: Liverpool fans in Plaza de Oriente displaying a banner with an extra Champions League title cheekily added
A Liverpool fan from the Wirral, who gave his name as Roger, said it was a mistake not to keep the fan zones open during the game.
The 52-year-old, who has a ticket for the match, said: ‘Fans are now going to be booted – where are they going to go? I can see there being trouble, really I can.’
His friend, a 20-year-old from Liverpool who went by the name Jacob, said he was disappointed to have to watch the match in a pub.
The Champions League trophy, not the actual one, looms over a pair of Liverpool fans posing in Plaza de Oriente, Madrid
‘We are expecting 40,000 Liverpool fans here – where are we all going to go now?,’ he added,
Irish Spurs fan Jason McAuley said he and Liverpool-supporting friend Antony Lockley would find a pub in Madrid to watch the match if their unlikely quest for a last-minute ticket failed.
He said: ‘We are going to get up, have breakfast, and see what’s happening. In the time we’ve been out here, not a single person has been genuinely selling a ticket or even talking about it.
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher with Spurs fan Jason McAuley and friend Antony Lockley at John Lennon Airport
Mounted police on guard as Liverpool soccer fans gather at Felipe II square in Madrid. Spanish police had warned that they would take a ‘robust’ approach to fans if they misbehaved, and they said yesterday that they had arrested four Britons
‘So if needs be we will find a pub somewhere to watch it in.
‘One of us will be devastated for about an hour afterwards, so we will have a beer, give the other one a slap round the face to cheer them up a bit, then just got on with it and have a good night together as mates.’
But Mr Lockley said he was confident the city would be able to adequately cater for the influx of ticketless supporters.
Liverpool famously came back from the death to beat Barcelona in the last round. Pictured yesterday, a young boy prepares to volley a Barcelona football as Liverpool fans cheer him on
He said: ‘I’ve been to Madrid many times and it is clear to me that this is a football mad city.
‘There are bars everywhere, there are more places to watch the game than you could imagine.
‘There’s not a shortage. It’s possibly an overly cautious step by the authorities not to put a big screen on for people to gather at, but everywhere will be showing it – there are Michelin-starred restaurants in Madrid which will have it on.’
Liverpool fans mingle with locals this morning in Plaza Mayor as the clock ticks towards tonight’s final in the Metropolitano
Several thousand extra police – including delegations from Merseyside and London – have been brought in to cope with the additional supporters in Madrid ahead of the final.
So far the build-up to the game has been relatively peaceful amid warnings from police that they will take a ‘robust’ approach to bad behaviour.
Officers also took measures to close down some outdoor drinking areas shortly after lunch on Friday afternoon in an effort to restrict noise around some of the residential areas. Four Britons were arrested with no further details made available.