The semi-random nature of European football at times can seem to pair you against some clubs over and over again. Facing off against Porto six times in four years. AC Milan in the final twice in three years. Chelsea ten times in the aughts—and never again since.
Of late for Liverpool, along with Portugal’s Porto a seemingly annual tradition has been to face off against Real Madrid. And more often than not and no matter form or performance or chances created in the match, it usually badly for the Reds.
“It doesn’t seem too long ago that the fact Liverpool and Real Madrid had met so seldomly outside European Cup finals was a bit of a curiosity,” Jordan Henderson noted. “Now we’ve got a tie which means we will have come up against them six times in five years.
“It is the kind of rivalry that I could never get too much of. No matter how big the challenge is—and it’s never short of being very big when you come up against Real Madrid—these are the games that you live for as a player and as a supporter.”
The biggest opponents on the biggest occasions under the lights on a weekday evening rather is the whole point of football, for the players and fans alike. Now there’s just the small matter of beating an opponent that has had Liverpool’s number of late.
“Results have gone in their favour more than ours and, of course,” the Liverpool captain added. “But if you are involved with Liverpool in any capacity you want to test yourself against the best because your main aim has to be to become the best.