Jürgen Klopp had described reaching his third Champions League final in five years with Liverpool as “feeling like the first” – and now the final will be a repeat of Klopp’s first with Liverpool – also against Real Madrid.
Madrid won that night following Sergio Ramos’ infamous foul on Mohamed Salah, sealing it with Gareth Bale’s extraordinary overhead kick. Salah was expunged from the game in the first few minutes by a brutal tackle by Ramos, whose foul left the Egyptian with a dislocated shoulder.
Salah had already stated his desire to lock horns with Real Madrid again in the final: “I want to play against Madrid. They beat us in the final before, so let’s play them again,” Salah said, with his wish coming true 24 hour later, when Real Madrid’s second half comeback overwhelmed Manchester City on Wednesday night, with an exceptional late double by Rodrygo and another my Karim Benzema.
‘It was a different time’
Speaking last year about the 2018 final, Klopp said: “We know we were good that night, but 25 minutes of being really good in a final was never enough. And no-one is interested, when they look back in 10-15 years, how we played in the first 25 minutes,” he said of the 2018 showpiece at the Olympic stadium in Kyiv.
“But we knew it anyway. It was a different time. We were in a different place,” said Klopp. “Since then a lot of good things happened so we feel good in our situation.”
At that time he had led Liverpool to some early success but was yet to establish themselves as the dynasty they have become during his reign. Since then, Klopp has gone on to join Miguel Munoz, Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti and Marcello Lippi as having reached four finals, but he will be keen to add to his European Cups, which still stands at one.
In Paris on May 28, Klopp and Salah will get another chance to put right the wrongs of four years ago.
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