For the third time under manager Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool are preparing to play in a Champions League final. If they win, it will be the second time they lift the European Cup under him and the seventh time in the club’s history.
It will also be, as some have cast it, a chance for revenge given Klopp’s first Champions League final with the Reds was against Saturday’s opponents and ended in a loss. Klopp, though, says he’s not much interested in the revenge angle.
“I don’t think about revenge,” he noted at his pre-match press conference today. “I understand it, but I am not sure it is the right approach for us—but I understand what Mo [Salah] said, that he said he wants to put it right.
“I want to put it right. It is all fine between me and us and Real Madrid and I think to win it would be a great story, but it will not happen because of 2018. It will happen if we make the right decisions on the pitch and I hope we can do that.”
Salah, who was injured by Sergio Ramos in the 2018 final and could only watch as the Reds went on to lose, previously said that he and his teammates “have a score to settle” against Madrid given the way their last final meeting went.
The best way to do it, though, likely involves thinking less about 2018 and more about the present, about Real Madrid in 2022 and what this Liverpool side has done to reach another final and what they’ll have to to to win it.
The chance at revenge or to make things right at the second time of asking can be a motivator, but the focus has to be on the preparation and the present—particularly for a Liverpool side that most consider favourites now.
“It makes a massive difference that we won it already,” Klopp added. “But we face a team who won it, the majority of this team, three times. Toni Kroos, I think, won it three times already, Luka Modric as well, Casemiro, Benzema.
“So if we are now in a better place then what are they? Their desire is at a maximum level and it will be on a maximum level from our side, but it feels better to know you have won it already than to have never won it before.”