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May 28, 2022 at 8.36pm UK at Stade Auguste Delaune
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Liverpool vs. Real Madrid player duels: Ibrahima Konate or Eder Militao?

Ahead of the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, the Sports Mole team discuss who is the better centre-back - Ibrahima Konate or Eder Militao?

Some of the world's best players will be on show in Paris on Saturday as Liverpool and Real Madrid go head to head in the biggest club game in football - the Champions League final.

It is the third time the two famous clubs have met in a European Cup final - a record for a single fixture - with the past two split one apiece, Liverpool winning in Paris in 1981 before Real Madrid lifted the trophy in 2018.

Ahead of the blockbuster fixture between two of Europe's most decorated teams, the Sports Mole team have compared every player likely to start the match for both sides in Paris.

Here, we discuss whether Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate or Real Madrid's Eder Militao is the better centre-back.


Real Madrid's Eder Militao during the warm up before the match in May 2022© Reuters

Barney Corkhill, Editor

VERDICT: Eder Militao

Ibrahima Konate has played a huge role in Liverpool getting to the final of this season's competition, and not just in the defensive third either, with goals in both legs of the quarter-final against Benfica proving particularly important on the road to Paris.

The 22-year-old has proved himself a valuable addition to Jurgen Klopp's squad, and can feel slightly hard done by that he has mainly been confined to the Champions League this season, with Joel Matip the preferred option alongside Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League.

Taking the season as a whole, then, it is difficult to look past Eder Militao in this head-to-head; the Brazilian has been a mainstay in the Madrid team throughout the campaign and across all competitions, helping them to make light of losing talismanic club legend Sergio Ramos.

Even when levelling the playing field between these two by judging them per 90 minutes played rather than actual appearances, Militao comes out on top for tackles, possession won, successful presses, blocks, interceptions and even percentage of aerial duels won despite his smaller stature.

At just 23 years of age, the future looks very bright for Militao, and it could be that these two progress to be regarded as two of the best centre-backs around in the coming years.


Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate celebrates scoring against Benfica in the Champions League on April 13, 2022© Reuters

Ben Knapton, Senior Reporter

VERDICT: Eder Militao

One of the closer battles in this list, Ibrahima Konate is arguably yet to have a bad game for Liverpool – barring his error for Pedro Neto's goal at the weekend - and has managed to avoid defeat in his first 28 games for the club, in addition to heading home a trio of vital goals against Benfica and Manchester City.

Then again, Eder Militao has stepped up to the plate to fill the Sergio Ramos-sized void at Real and has been an ever-present for Carlo Ancelotti's Spanish champions, even if some of his showings in recent weeks have been criticised.

There are even suggestions that Militao could be dropped for the final, but the Brazilian ranks slightly higher than Konate on pass completion percentage this season and has been around in the Blancos first XI for longer, so he just about gets my vote, although it could have easily swung the other way had Konate been a regular starter throughout the season.


SPORTS MOLE VERDICT: EDER MILITAO

Real Madrid defender Eder Militao pictured in April 2022© Reuters


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How you voted: Liverpool vs Real Madrid

Liverpool
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Real Madrid
43.7%
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Liverpool players celebrate Fabinho's goal against Villarreal in the Champions League on May 3, 2022
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