Gini Wijnaldum shows he gets Liverpool with approach to Champions League final

Doug Mendoza
May 26, 2018

"They deserve it. I'm really proud". "Comparing players with Ronaldo and Messi is something you can't do, they're in another orbit", Ramos said. Twice throwing away the lead in their opening game to draw 2-2 with Sevilla before only claiming a draw away to Spartak Moscow, it was an inauspicious start for Klopp's side. We had to go the [hard] way, 11 or 12 players had to play the last six or eight games themselves - not because the others are not good enough but we had no chance really to change because of positions, stuff like that - and they went through it.

Enter Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

Salah has been the star turn of Liverpool's season, scoring 44 goals in his debut season at Anfield to plunder a series of individual Player of the Year awards. "We had the most exceptional run to the final, scoring the most goals".

The trio of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will come face-to-face with a fearsome and versatile group of forwards, headed by Cristiano Ronaldo.

And this idea was something that had resonated with van Dijk before he even met the German. At Real Madrid there is a culture of victory - and when you get to the final that's all you're thinking about. He recovered his domestic form, too, finishing the Liga campaign with 26 goals, only trailing Lionel Messi who finished top scorer with 34.

"The experience they (Madrid) have is an advantage, 100%, but experience does not help you all the time".

So what will Liverpool do to ensure their manager isn't on the losing side again?

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Liverpool have met Real Madrid in the European Cup final just once before.

At Real Madrid, there is a suggestion that the players don't need to be told what to do but made to feel comfortable.

Real have seen this as their competition ever since winning the first five European Cups in a row, and this is another golden era for them, in which they are dreaming of making it a fourth Champions League in five years.

Don't fear the prospect of a Champions League final and instead look at it as a night when your career can be defined, the one game that can turn you into a hero forever more.

During a conversation with ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler previewing the 2018 UCL decider in Kiev, Ukraine, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said there was a view around that Marcelo "could not defend", while pointing out that despite issues in their team, Madrid had been hugely successful in recent years due to their attacking prowess. This final is the easiest final they have in front of them, all of them - [club president] Florentino Perez, the captains.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo could win his fifth Champions League, a landmark reached by only four players before now. "I know that around a final like this, people like to make up things that did not happen".

So expect goals and plenty of them in a game that's going to be a lot closer than many observers, both neutral and Madridistas believe.

Other reports by GizPress

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