Premier League • England

Real Madrid star takes Salah ‘disrespect’ as motivation ahead of Champions League final

James Milner, Mohamed Salah Liverpool v Villarreal April 2022

Federico Valverde has stated Mohamed Salah “disrespecting the Real Madrid badge” will serve as motivation for the Champions League final against Liverpool.

Real Madrid and Liverpool will face off in the Champions League final on Saturday. The clash is a repeat of the 2017/18 final, when Real prevailed 3-1 over the Reds. Liverpool star Salah had to be taken off in the first half, thanks to a shoulder injury.

The Reds tasted Champions League triumph the following season, as they beat Tottenham 1-0. Their European campaign this season has been a good one, too.

They have been in top form on their road to the final, winning the last two rounds against Benfica and Villarreal 6-4 and 5-2 on, respectively.

Though their final opponents, Real, are apparently coming into the tie with extra motivation. Salah admitted earlier this month that he wanted to play Real, which has been taken by Valverde as a disrespectful comment.

“Obviously they’re words that everyone can take however they want,” he said, via Marca.

“I’m his opponent and it’s like disrespecting the Real Madrid badge, the players.”

Indeed, it seems Valverde will be right up for the game, and is using Salah’s comments as motivation.

Similarly, it seems that motivation will be spread across the side, as they attempt to replicate the final win over Liverpool five years ago.

“The only thing we must do is give our best, try to show why we’re in the final and let’s hope we can give another trophy to the fans and to Real Madrid.”

Valverde hails Real Madrid support

Federico Valverde trying to get away from Marquinhos

Real have had a tough run in the Champions League this season. They have had close ties against Paris-Saint Germain, Chelsea and then Manchester City, win ing each by just one goal.

Valverde has hailed the support of the fans during that good run.

“The first thing to do is thank the fans, because when the game seems lost, when you can’t find spaces, the team isn’t feeling good, the fans are always there to support us,” he said.

“That gives us a plus, an energy that you can’t explain. The game isn’t over until the referee says so.

“The biggest one was against City. It’s very difficult to go through again when you’re losing in the 89th minute, you blink and you’re winning. They’re things that don’t happen often in life.”

Real will hope for some good support in the final, against powerhouses Liverpool. Both sides will of course hope to get the better of the other, but are extremely well matched, given the outstanding seasons both have had.

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