Mohamed Salah has played down the notion that he is out for revenge on Sergio Ramos, but sent a mixed message about the chances of leaving Liverpool for La Liga.
Salah will face off with Ramos once more when Liverpool play Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals. When they last met, in the 2018 final, Salah injured his shoulder after a collision with the Madrid defender.
It marks an interesting sub-plot to the match, but the main story is which of the two European giants will come out on top overall.
Indeed, Salah laughed off a question about being motivated to play against Ramos again in an interview with Marca.
“Let’s just say that I have special motivation to win the tie and go through to the semi-finals,” he said.
“What’s going to happen now isn’t going to change the result of the final in Kiev. That’s in the past.
“That game is in the past, so I don’t think about it. I’m thinking about the team. Everyone is focused on their team and everyone wants to win… that’s it.”
The Egyptian winger warned Madrid that his side have improved vastly since their last meeting. But even so, he does not think there can be a favourite between them.
“Since then, we’ve won the Premier League and the Champions League,” he added. “We’re winners. That’s a big change.
“I think we’re both strong. Both teams have won their last two games in the Champions League. Both teams are prepared. It’s a special competition and both teams are doing well in it.”
Despite acknowledging the strength of Madrid, though, Salah refused to answer a question about which opponent he would sign for Liverpool.
“I think our team is good enough as it is and that’s it,” he responded.
Nevertheless, he is an admirer of Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane.
“He’s a great coach,” Salah said. “He’s won three Champions Leagues, he’s doing a very good job with the team.
“He left and he came back to help the team win trophies again. He was one of my idols when I was little. He’s doing great as a coach.”
Meanwhile, he also shed light on his own relationship with Jurgen Klopp.
“It’s a normal relationship between two professionals. That’s how I’d describe it.”
Salah sends mixed message over future
While he clearly believes in his own team ahead of the Madrid match-up, Salah continues to be linked with a move to La Liga himself.
Asked what he wants to achieve for the rest of his career, the 28-year-old revealed a simple but ambitious target.
“I hope to be doing the same thing that I’ve been doing in recent years,” he said. “Winning trophies, scoring goals, helping my team win trophies… That’s the most important thing for me.”
He was then pressed about whether he could see himself at another club.
“It’s not up to me. We’ll see what happens but I prefer not to talk about that now.”
And questioned further about whether he could end up in La Liga, he gave a response that may worry Liverpool.
“I hope to be able to play for many more years. Why not?
“No one knows what’s going to happen in the future, so… maybe one day, yes.”