Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp believes that the injury of Mohamed Salah, the star of the team against Real Madrid in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final, negatively affected the Reds during the match.
Salah suffered a dislocated shoulder after 25 minutes, following a confrontation with Sergio Ramos in the final held in Kiev, which was won by Real Madrid.
Liverpool will play Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, tomorrow, Tuesday.
Klopp said at the press conference for the meeting about Salah’s injury: “We were playing great in this match, but after what happened (with Salah’s injury) we did not continue with the same performance.”
“No one will care after 25 years that we were great (against Real Madrid) for 25 minutes in this final,” he added.
“I am very excited because the match is in the Champions League and not because of what happened in 2018, if someone asked me a week after the Kiev match about the possibility of inviting Ramos for my birthday, I would tell him: I will not invite him. It was a strange night, but it was a while ago.”
And he added, “I cannot summon this feeling now, this anger or whatever, I did not even try. We want to prove how great we are, if we are better than Real Madrid or we scored more than them then we will qualify.”
He continued, “We have a good feeling about our position now, but we know that we are playing against a difficult team. The team is built for these kinds of matches, to face the other side of football, and we definitely have a chance in the match.”
He added, “We do not play in a competition for revenge, I do not believe much in it, but it would be great to qualify at Real Madrid’s expense. We have to play well tomorrow and not have any chance to qualify.”
And who will choose for the starting line-up from Salah, Sadio Mane, Firmino and Diogo Jota, “You have to wait until the start whistle. There will be a match to push them together, but you have to wait. Did Zinedine (Zidane) say anything about forming his team?”
He revealed, “I want to show the fans that we are still fighting. This is what is important to me. We want to win what is possible this season, and to be honest I am not determined to show the world how awesome we are.”
“We are still fighting in the Champions League and we have to deal with the team that faces us. We have to deal with Real Madrid, which is going through a good period, as they have extensive experience, and if someone knows how to win the European Championship, it will be Real Madrid.”
Regarding the Spanish team suitable for his style, he said: “There are 3 good clubs (Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid). I fit them all, but my Spanish is very bad. Real Mallorca would be a good choice as well.”
And on Real Madrid’s future training: “If I retire after training Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, I will not regret not having trained (for Real Madrid). When I left the plane I regretted that we do not live here (in Madrid) because the climate is much better (than Liverpool). Are fortunate. ”
On Trent Alexander-Arnold and his exclusion from the England squad in the last international hiatus, he said: “What we did during the international break was not to show that Gareth Southgate made a mistake in his decision, we just tried to play Trent at his best performance.”
“Continuity (between the two central defenders) is the reason, and it helps 100%. The whole team defended well (against Arsenal) and tomorrow it will be a test for us.”
“Everyone says that Real Madrid are the favorites to win, but there is no problem at all,” he said.