Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed that he watched last season’s Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid for the first time. He described the experience as ‘torture’.
Last year’s Champions League final saw the two European heavyweight clubs face each other. Real Madrid eventually won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Vinicius Junior to claim their 14th Champions League title. Both will again meet in this season’s Champions League Round of 16 knockout stages on Tuesday with the first leg at Anfield.
Speaking to the press, Klopp said about the experience of rewatching the game in preparation for tomorrow,
“Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in the world. We played the final in Paris and I watched it back this weekend. I realized why I hadn’t before that. It was torture; we played a good game, and we could have won it but they scored the decisive goal. You could see their experience, how little they lose confidence, they are there for their chance. That is what you can learn from them. We are different teams at different times. Let’s see who goes through.”
Jürgen Klopp: “I didn’t watch the Paris final replay until this weekend. Proper torture. We played a good game and could’ve won the game. They scored a decisive goal and we didn’t. You could see how experienced Madrid is.” pic.twitter.com/KFO7QX4SQO— Madrid Universal (@MadridUniversal) February 20, 2023
In the Champions League, the English team shares a lot of bad history with Real Madrid. Last year’s final was won by Real Madrid. Earlier Real Madrid had knocked them out of the Champions League quarter-finals 3-1 on aggregate in 2021-22. Four years ago, the boys in white defeated Liverpool 3-1 in the Champions League final, after a poor performance by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius. It seems the Reds and Jurgen Klopp can’t find the formula to beat the Los Blancos team.
Two of Real Madrid’s midfielders Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni will not travel to Anfield to face Liverpool for their first leg UEFA Champions League clash after being left out of the squad list. Also, Casemiro who was in last year’s final is no longer at the Bernabeu. This may give Klopp some idea on how to minimize the midfield prowess of Carlo Ancelotti’s team.
However, Karim Benzema is back in the team squad after an absence that will worry Liverpool fans as the striker was the Balon d’Or winner last year and a very dangerous striker. Real Madrid who have also won the FiFA Club Worldcup recently, will be heading into the tie in lifted spirits.
Liverpool has rediscovered form following a disappointing start to the season. They defeated Newcastle 2-0 at home to get back in the race for the top four. They will be hoping to finally pick up a victory against their European rivals.