Jurgen Klopp renews rivalries with Real Madrid in the Champions League this week after already losing two finals to the Spanish giants and has revealed he did not particularly enjoy watching the games back.
Liverpool will be aiming to secure what could be a vital Champions League advantage on Tuesday as the Reds’ square off with Real Madrid in the last-16 first leg at Anfield.
The two sides’ European fortunes have been very closely entwined over the past few seasons with each enjoying mixed fortunes. They first came together in the 2017/18 final – Gareth Bale’s brace securing the trophy for the Spanish giants.
They clashed again in the 2020/21 quarter-finals as Real progressed once more before the Spanish side dealt arguably one of the most gutting defeats of Jurgen Klopp ’s era at Liverpool in last season’s final. Vinicius Jr’s solitary strike was enough for Madrid to claim victory once more, whilst goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois also produced a series of crucial saves.
Ahead of this week’s meeting at Anfield, Klopp has revealed that he has only recently watched back footage of the final itself alone and it was not a positive experience. Speaking in a press conference, the German coach said: “Different things happened with Real Madrid… Dortmund already had a story with Madrid.
“One of the most successful clubs in the world, super experienced. In our own story, we played this final in Paris and I didn’t watch it back until this weekend. Now I know why I didn’t watch it!
“I didn’t watch Paris back 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.”
Whilst confirming that he has watched back the match ahead of the two side’s latest showdown, the result will have no bearing on the upcoming fixture but does want to see a more positive display this time around. He added: “We could have won that game but didn’t.
“We come into this with more experience. Before that we played at that training ground and in an empty stadium. We let them work hard. This is now different teams. That’s history.
“I don’t think you can make this team panic [Real Madrid]. The chances we had [in the final], the saves they had to make. What held us back a little, it was a final. We weren’t adventurous enough.”
Liverpool come into their clash with Real in good form despite their indifferent season so far. The Reds have won each of their last two games against Everton and Newcastle respectively.
Klopp’s men have the opportunity to win three games in a row in all competitions for the first time since November. Meanwhile, Real come into the game fresh off the back of winning yet another trophy and getting back on track in the league.
Carlo Ancelotti ’s side lifted the FIFA Club World Cup with a thrilling 5-3 victory over Al-Hilal in Morocco. Since then, they have secured league wins against Elche and Osasuna to just about keep title rivals Barcelona within touching distance.