By Andy Hampson, PA
Jurgen Klopp claims he is not motivated by revenge as he prepares his Liverpool side for Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.
Reds forward Mohamed Salah has spoken about having a score to settle after the Spanish giants triumphed when the same two sides met in the 2018 showpiece.
That occasion in Kiev was a particularly miserable night for Salah as the Egyptian was forced off injured after just 30 minutes following a controversial challenge by Sergio Ramos.
Manager Klopp admits he understands Salah’s point of view but does not necessarily view things in the same way.
The German said at a press conference: “It is clear it was a harsh night for us. It was really tough to take – the circumstances, the way we conceded the goals, the injury to Mo, a lot of things happened that night.
“We came there a little bit on three wheels. We had a long season, the (injured) players came back just in time to make it to the final, then we had to change (in the game) and we couldn’t replace Mo one to one.
“But I don’t believe in revenge. I understand it but I don’t think revenge is a fantastic idea. I am not sure it is the right thing to do.
“I understand what Mo said, he wants to put it right, I want to put it right, but in Germany we say you always meet twice in life. So behave better in the first moment because you will meet again. You will get a reception, but don’t talk about the reaction.
“It is all fine between us and Real Madrid. It is a football game on the highest level.
“If (someone) gives us an opportunity to win it this time, I think it would be a great story but it will not happen because of what happened in 2018.
“It will happen because we make the right decisions on the pitch.”
After Liverpool bounced back from their disappointment four years ago to win the competition by beating Tottenham in Madrid 12 months later, Klopp now has the chance win the trophy for a second time.
That would put him in an elite bracket of managers but Klopp insists it would be the players who would deserve the credit.
“My reputation – I couldn’t care less,” he said. “I forget these things as quickly as they happen.
“I will not win the Champions League, no chance, but if the boys can solve it for us it will be great.
“Three (finals) in five years is exceptional because this competition is really difficult. It is really special. We really want to give it a proper go and we will see.”
Liverpool go into the game on the back of the disappointment of narrowly losing out to Manchester City in the Premier League title race last weekend.
Klopp said: “We are all in a good mood. If you are healthy, as the boys obviously are, life gives you opportunities again and again and in this case it is the Champions League final.
“Nobody feels the pain from Sunday any more. We are really just looking forward to this game against an incredibly strong, experienced opponent.”