Champions League

Jurgen Klopp issues Champions League final warning to Real Madrid

The German gaffer has forewarned their mighty rivals they’d pull no punches in Kiev, threatening to go all out on an experienced Madrid side

Liverpool survived a second-half scare in Rome, but ultimately held-out Roma to reach the Champions League finals – a first in 13 years. The Reds have surpassed all expectations in Europe this season. Now come-up against the two-time defending champions who’re aiming to complete the three-peat.

But manager Jurgen Klopp has other plans. The German has issued a warning to Cristiano Ronaldo and co., whilst also aiming to go one better than his last appearance in a major European final. He said, “We were in a League Cup final and didn’t win it. People don’t tell me in the street since then: ‘Thank you for bringing us to the final.’ We were in the Europa League final too. Nobody tells me, thank you. I see no trophies after these games.”

Klopp endured two heartbreaks in his maiden season at the club, when he guided them to the League Cup final and the Europa League final in 2016. Liverpool ended up on the losing side on both occasions. The disappointment, somewhere, continues to weigh heavy on him and the team.

“They don’t hang silver medals at Melwood. That’s a pity, but that’s the game. There’s still a job to do.”

Real Madrid now await them in the Ukrainian capital, bidding for an unprecedented third trophy on the trot. Klopp is weary of the experience in the side, but has issued an ominous statement to the mighty rivals.

Going to a final is really nice but winning is even nicer. We will be ready but it is Real Madrid. You cannot be more experienced in this competition than Real Madrid. I think 80 per cent of their team played all these finals. They are four times in the last five years and still together.

They are experienced, we are not, but we will be really on fire.

Author’s Take

This is going to be a European classic. Two attack-minded teams with similar defensive issues, this one promises plenty of goals. Also, an intriguing match-up between world football’s two of the top three players – Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah. In a repeat of the 1981 final, the tie is finely poised and given the path that these two teams have traversed till now, it can swing in any direction. But, Liverpool vs Real Madrid has footballing spectacle written all over it!

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