Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp claims that his team will not be seeking revenge when they face Real Madid CF in the quarter-finals of this season's UEFA Champions League. The first leg is set to take place on Tuesday, at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano in the Spanish capital.
It is difficult not to look back at Liverpool's 3-1 defeat against the 13-time champions back in 2018. The Reds had high hopes for Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, who was sadly injured after a clash with Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos before he could make a difference in the match.
Salah left the pitch in tears as the Spaniards went on to dominate the rest of the final. Football fans around the world will be eager to see the teams face each other again, but it will be a very different game this time around. First of all, Ramos won't be on the pitch. He has been sidelined due to a muscular injury, and those looking forward to seeing Salah face the Spaniard again will be sorely disappointed.
Klopp himself admitted that the nightmare final still haunts him. "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," he told BBC.
However, he claims that he does not want to hold on to the anger he felt from the 2018 defeat. "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," he added.
Both Liverpool and Real Madrid are reigning league champions in England and in Spain. However, Liverpool has fallen too far behind current leaders Manchester City to realistically defend their title. Real Madrid meanwhile, is still in title contention against Atletico Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Klopp has effectively lost the league already, but he still has every motivation to bring home the prestigious European Cup. "My motivation is at the highest level because it's the Champions League," he said.
The Reds will be full of confidence after having won the competition in 2019, just a year after that fateful loss against Los Blancos.
It remains to be seen what happens at the end of the tie, but whoever wins will still have a long way to go to the title.