On Saturday, May 28, Real Madrid and Liverpool will face off in the Champions League final.
The game takes place at the Stade de France, Paris, in a repeat of the 2018 final, which saw Real Madrid win 3-1 in Kyiv. That occasion was controversial, with Liverpool fans upset as Mohamed Salah left the field with a dislocated shoulder in the first half, after his arm was locked by Sergio Ramos during a fall.
This will be the third time these teams have met in a European final. As well as four years ago, they also faced each other in the 1981 European Cup final, a match Liverpool won 1-0. That game was also in Paris, at the Parc des Princes, the modern home of Paris Saint-Germain.
These are two of the clubs most strongly associated with the Champions League. Real Madrid have won the competition 13 times, far more than any other side, while Liverpool’s six successes put them behind only Madrid and AC Milan.
Given the history the two sides have, both with each other and the competition more generally, this is sure to be a showpiece event.
On top of that, this will be the first Champions League final to be played in a full stadium since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stade de France has a capacity of 75,000, and fans from both teams will be looking to get a ticket to the final.
Where is the Champions League final?
The 2022 Champions League final has changed venue on more than one occasion. Initially, the final was set to be staged in Munich, at the Allianz Arena, but the pandemic put a halt to those plans.
The final stages of the 2019/20 Champions League were played in a closed, bio-secure bubble, in Portugal. The planned venue for the 2020 Champions League final, the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, was then due to host the fixture in 2021, but that game was moved to Porto when it became clear that fans of Manchester City and Chelsea, the finalists, would not be allowed to enter Turkey due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This decision meant final venues were effectively all moved back by a year: The 2022 final would take place at the Krestovsky Stadium, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which led to sanctions imposed by UEFA, the final was moved to the Stade de France in Paris.
The 2022 final will be the first Champions League final France has hosted since 2006. That year also saw a Spanish and English face-off, with Barcelona coming from behind to beat 10-man Arsenal 2-1.
In total, the Stade de France has played host to three finals in this competition, including this year’s. Aside from the 2006 final, the 2000 edition of the tournament saw Real Madrid lift the trophy in the stadium, beating Valencia 3-0.
How to buy Champions League final tickets
Tickets for the final were allocated to each club by UEFA. Each club received an allocation of 20,000 tickets, with 12,000 available to the general public. Of the 40,000 tickets available to fans of the clubs, 10,000 were provided free by UEFA.
The tickets provided for the general public were sold directly by UEFA, using a ballot system. Those tickets have now been allocated. UEFA allowed the respective clubs to decide how they would distribute their overall allocation.
Liverpool sold tickets through multiple rounds. The first round of ticket sales was open to any fans the club classes as ‘priority rights holders’. The second round of ticket sales was open to season-ticket holders, and fans who attended at least seven of Liverpool’s home Champions League games from the 2021/22 season, or the games away to Napoli, Genk, Salzburg, or Atletico Madrid from the 2019/20 season.
The third sale was open to season-ticket holders, qualifying seasonal hospitality members, and members who attended at least six of the matches listed above. Tickets were not guaranteed in the third sale, which used a ballot system, registration for which ended on May 9.
If more tickets were still available after those three rounds, then the club was prepared to run a fourth round of sales. Eligibility for the fourth sale would include season-ticket holders, qualifying seasonal hospitality members, and members who attended at least six of the games listed above, who have also registered for the ballot and received a waiting list position which has become successful.
Real Madrid have significant experience of allocating Champions League final tickets in recent years, and they tend to follow a set method. A small proportion of tickets were held back for club directors and sponsors, as well as various staff. From the remaining tickets, some were reserved specifically for the fans who have supported the club for the longest time, and others for fans with reduced mobility.
National and international fan groups will receive some tickets, while the remaining majority of tickets will be allocated for sale to club members. Demand will outstrip supply, so a ballot system is used.
How much do 2022 Champions League final tickets cost?
The prices for tickets in UEFA’s general public ballot vary from €70 (£59.40, $72.90) to €690 (£585.70, $718.30) depending on category of ticket.
The clubs were selling tickets approximately in line with this pricing.
Some supporters will surely be seeking tickets on the secondary market, from resellers who bought tickets with the aim of selling them on, although UEFA has warned fans this comes with risk.
Liverpool’s ticket allocation for the Champions League final?
Liverpool’s ticket allocation is 20,000, equal to Real Madrid’s.
Each club received 5,000 tickets for free from UEFA. A total of 382 of the highest-category tickets in Liverpool’s allocation were held by the club, for club staff, players’ allocation, and VIPs.
The remaining 19,618 tickets went on sale per the process outlined above. The majority of Liverpool’s ticket allocation is Category 3. Category 1 makes up a small amount. Of the 19,618 tickets available to fans, 1,324 were restricted view tickets, available at a discount.
Why was the Champions League final delayed?
The Champions League final was originally due to kickoff at 9pm local time in Paris but was then pushed back 15 minutes and then again by the same amount to a 9.30pm start. The match eventually kicked off 38 minutes after it was scheduled to begin at 9.38pm.
However, reports from scores of fans and journalists outside the ground claim there were organisational problems which meant fans were left in queues waiting to get in.
Some fans had arrived as early as two hours before kickoff to enter the stadium with tickets but queues were slow moving and there was little direction or signposting.
Worrying reports also emerged of fans fearing crushes and being teargassed by police.