Jurgen Klopp revealed he is unable to summon the same “anger” he felt at Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat three years ago as he rejected suggestions his side are on a revenge mission against Real Madrid.
The LaLiga giants claimed a third successive crown in Europe’s elite club competition in May 2018 by beating the Reds 3-1 in the Kiev showpiece, where Mohamed Salah suffered a shoulder injury following Sergio Ramos’ challenge.
While Klopp had strong emotions at the time, he was adamant those have died down as the teams prepare to meet for the first time since that tempestuous occasion at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Tuesday evening.
But with the Champions League the only silverware Liverpool can win in a season marred by mixed results and a spate of injuries, Klopp insisted there is plenty of incentive for his side ahead of the quarter-final first leg.
“My motivation is at the highest level because it’s the Champions League, we want to go into the next round, we play Real Madrid,” he said.
“This has nothing to do with 2018 but when I got the draw – because it’s the first time we played Real Madrid since then, of course I remembered the game.
“I said after that game that if somebody asked me a week later or a month later if I would invite Sergio Ramos to my 60th birthday, then I would say no! I would think about it again.
“He’s a great footballer but I didn’t like what happened that night. It was a strange night for us but it’s long ago and I cannot get that feeling back, that anger or whatever, so I don’t even try.
“We are not on a revenge tour here. I don’t believe too much in revenge, but it would be nice to get through, because it would mean we are in the next round.”
Real ace fears Liverpool attacking threat
Real Madrid midfielder Nacho has labelled Liverpool’s forwards the best in the world and feels they will all be up for Tuesday’s Champions League clash.
The Reds are set to travel to the Spanish capital for the first leg of their quarter-final encounter. The clubs will then do it all again at Anfield on April 14. Los Blancos will start as favourites at the Bernabeu after winning their last four games. They are also unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions and seem to have rediscovered their form.
Zinedine Zidane’s side have lost just one of their last 19 La Liga games. And they are now only three points behind table-topping Atletico Madrid.
It was a similar story in Europe. After taking one point from their first two games, they managed to top Group B by two points to advance.
A comfortable 4-1 aggregate triumph over Italian side Atalanta set up the tie with Jurgen Klopp’s men. And it seems as though Nacho is in awe of Klopp’s attacking resources.
“In general, the attacking four are spectacular, worldwide they are the best, without any doubt,” he said, in an interview with Goal. “I am sure that not only Salah, but all Liverpool players will take it as a rematch for the final that we beat them, but we have the same desire or more.”