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Mohamed Salah is looking to gain some fitting revenge after the Liverpool superstar was given the Champions League final opponents he craved in Real Madrid.
Liverpool survived a test of character to record a 5-2 aggregate win over Villarreal on Tuesday to reach their third European showpiece in five seasons. It keeps Jurgen Klopp’s side on course to claim an unprecedented quadruple with the Carabao Cup already in the bag. They are also only a point behind Manchester City in the title race and face Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
However, it is clearly the Champions League which most whets Salah’s appetite.
Both Virgil van Dijk and Klopp sat on the fence when asked to choose a preferred opponent in Paris.
“I want to play Madrid, I have to be honest,” the Egyptian told BT Sport.
“City is a really tough team, we played against them a few times this season.
“I think personally, I would prefer Madrid. We lost in the final to them so I want to play against them and hopefully win it.”
Salah’s wishes looked bleak with City 5-3 up and heading into the 90th-minute at the Bernabeu.
But two goals in as many minutes from Brazilian star Rodrygo sent the match to extra time.
And to cap one of the most extraordinary periods of recent footballing memory, Karim Benzema slotted home an extra-time penalty to send Real Madrid through.
Painful memories of Kiev-staged Champions League final
But for Salah, the chance of revenge against Real Madrid will be sweet.
He was wiped out during the game after a crude Sergio Ramos challenge. That saw Salah suffer a shoulder injury, forcing his early exit from the game.
And a Gareth Bale double – including a spectacular overhead kick – helped Los Blancos to a famous win.
Clearly revenge is on Salah’s mind as he sent a message to the Spanish giants ahead of the May 28 showpiece.
In a simple, but strongly-worded tweet, Salah stated: “We have a score to settle.”
Real revenge will be sweet for Salah
The chance to even the score against Real Madrid will clearly be on all Liverpool players’ minds in Paris.
They are unlikely to say so publicly, but that defeat in Kiev, will be very much on their minds.
That loss for Klopp, at the time, was a highly-painful one. It was his third defeat in a cup final while Reds boss. It was also his second defeat in the Champions League final, having also missed out while Borussia Dortmund coach.
At the time, it lead to many pundits questioning Klopp’s ability to take that ‘final step’ as a coach.
That has since been answered in emphatic fashion. It was also probably the fuel Liverpool needed when they did go one step better in Madrid a year later.
Liverpool have since, of course, won the Premier League title; a real moment to savour for supporters who had waited 30-long years.
But getting one up on Real Madrid in Paris will be just as sweet for the club. And who would bet against Salah bagging in the final and helping Liverpool claim a seventh European Cup.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are beginning plans for next season and are reportedly on the trail of a 13-assist defender David Raum.
The article Mohamed Salah sends strongly-worded message as Real Madrid set up Liverpool Champions League final appeared first on Teamtalk.com.