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Mohamed Salah is relishing the prospect of facing Real Madrid after they were confirmed as Liverpool's opponents in the Champions League final.
After Liverpool's dramatic second-leg win over Villarreal carried the Reds through to the May 28 trophy match in Paris, Madrid's taste for the epic was exhibited on Wednesday, scoring two goals in injury time and a third in extra time to eliminate Manchester City.
The 29-year-old Salah reacted on Twitter after Madrid's win, affirming that he and Liverpool have a "score to settle".
He has now gone further to suggest everyone at Liverpool wanted to face Los Blancos more than their fierce Premier League rivals at the Stade de France.
"If you ask everybody [at Liverpool], everyone wanted that game," Salah told Sky Sports. "I don't know why we're not allowed to talk about it, but I'm okay to talk about it – I wanted that game. I wanted to play Real Madrid before that game [against Manchester City].
"Of course, I'm not giving too much credit to them. They're an unbelievable team with a great coach, great players. When they asked me who I wanted, I said Madrid. It's an easy answer."
Salah holds a personal record of one draw and four defeats in the five times he has played against Los Blancos in the Champions League, scoring once – in the first leg of the 2020-21 quarter-final stage.
The 2017-18 final between Liverpool and Madrid was memorable for Salah's early injury and substitution, after a duel with Sergio Ramos where he was dragged down.
Despite personal disappointments for both Liverpool and Roma against Madrid, the Kyiv final four years ago is the one that lingers in the memory, both publicly and individually.
"You just feel so disappointed, so down," Salah said. "'Ah come on, not in this game!' But once you have time, it makes you forget.
"I had work affairs and then I had a holiday after. In that holiday I just asked, 'What do you want? To keep crying about it and be sad about it and it takes you down? Or you just fight back.' And I fought back in the best way and that's why we're here now."