Mo Salah took the chance to explain the meaning behind his tweet that Liverpool ‘have a score to settle’ with Real Madrid in the Champions League final after the Reds forward collected his second Football Writers’ Association Football of the Year award on Thursday night.
The Egypt striker is relishing the chance to take on the Spanish champions in Paris on May 28 after Carlo Ancelotti’s men booked their place in the final after a stunning turnaround against Manchester City in their semi-final second leg on Wednesday evening.
Los Blancos broke Salah’s heart after a robust Sergio Ramos challenge forced him off in the first half of the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv, with the Real skipper then going on to lift the trophy.
The 29-year-old was crystal clear that he wanted Los Blancos when quizzed on his preferred final opponent by the BT Sport punditry team after the 3-2 win at Villarreal that saw Liverpool reach the showpiece event.
“I want Real Madrid. Man City are a tough side but I have to be honest, I would like to play Real Madrid,” Salah said on Tuesday night.
Peter Crouch then asked: “You want revenge for a few years ago?”
To which Salah replied: “Yes, of course, they beat us a few years ago so hopefully we can do that if we get them.”
But speaking at the FWA event on Thursday night he appeared to backtrack a little on those comments.
“Well, I’m so excited, our team is so excited about it,” Salah said.
“I said before the game that I wanted to play Madrid in the final, I’m sure it’s going to be a tough game.
“They beat a lot of good teams, we just need to be focused on the game.
“First of all we still have a few games in the Premier League. We have to finish them in the best way possible.”
Liverpool know what it takes to win
As for picking up his second FWA award, he added: “It feels great. First of all, I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Of course, journalists are a big part of the football family, and hopefully we can win some more this season.
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“(Is the quadruple realistic?) I think so. Not everything is in our hands. We have to win our games in the Premier League and see if City drop points or not. They have a great team, great manager, I’m sure they want to keep winning. But it’s possible.
“We’ve been together for five years, we know what it takes to win. We have the mindset we can win any trophy.”