Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde has insisted that his side travel to Anfield looking to take their Champions League quarter-final tie away from Liverpool.
Zinedine Zidane’s men sit in a commanding position after a commanding 3-1 win in last Tuesday’s first leg. Vinicius Junior scored in either half, with Marco Asensio adding another. However, Liverpool’s away goal – netted by Mohamed Salah – gives the Reds hopes of another comeback.
Indeed, Jurgen Klopp’s men pulled off a 4-0 win over Barcelona in 2019, following a 3-0 loss in Spain.
Manager Klopp has insisted that his side will need to defend better in the second leg, before thinking about creating chances to come back.
However, that plan will face another stern test, with Valverde insisting that his team-mates want to finish Liverpool off at Anfield.
“When a team loses people usually say they played badly. But a lot of the time it’s because of the virtues of the other side,” the 22-year-old told the Daily Mail.
“We did things well in the first leg. We pressed well, we attacked well, and we defended the result well. What Madrid did was positive and what Liverpool did was maybe not so negative.
“And the fact that they lost 3-1 doesn’t mean it’s going to be all roses for us there. They will throw everything at Madrid.
“But we won’t wait for them with our arms open, waiting to see what they have got. We will try to score and win the game.”
Klopp admitted in Tuesday’s pre-match press conference that he “cannot take comebacks for granted”, especially with no fans at Anfield.
However, Valverde says that he regrets not being able to play inside a packed-out arena.
“I would love to have played in a full Anfield,” he added. “Having that pressure from their fans turning the heat up.
“That’s the magic of football. Right now we can’t enjoy that but when you are a professional you have to adapt to everything.”
Valverde reveals soft spot for Liverpool
Elsewhere in his interview, Valverde opened up on his previous affection for Liverpool in the 2013/14 season.
The Uruguay international watched on with fondness as fellow countryman Luis Suarez netted 31 Premier League goals in a near-miss to the Premier League title for Brendan Rodgers’ old team.
“Uruguayans tend to support the team that has a Uruguayan in it,” Valverde said.
“At that moment, because Luis was at Liverpool, we supported Luis. I wanted things to go well for him, I will always do that with a team that has a Uruguayan.
“It happens with [Edinson] Cavani at Manchester United now too. I want United to win and for him to score goals. That year pretty much the whole country supported Liverpool.”