The Egypt captain discusses the Reds’ big game against Los Blancos in the Champions League final in France
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has responded to criticism about his desire to play Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Many pundits, such as Gabby Agbonlahor, felt as if Salah’s comments will give the Spanish team extra motivation and place pressure on the Egyptian’s shoulders.
The Reds sealed their place in the final after a 5-2 aggregate win over Villarreal on Tuesday evening, with Los Blancos claiming a 6-5 overall win over the Citizens on Wednesday, to qualify for the final to be held in Paris on May 28.
Despite conceding Real Madrid are an unbelievable team with a great coach and players, the Pharaohs captain says all Liverpool players wanted to face the Spanish heavyweights rather than their English rivals.
“If you ask everybody [at Liverpool ], everyone wanted that game. I don’t know why we’re not allowed to talk about it but I’m ok to talk about it – I wanted that game! I wanted to play Real Madrid before that game [against Manchester City],” Salah told Sky Sports.
“Of course, I’m not giving too much credit to them. They’re an unbelievable team with a great coach and great players. When they asked me who I wanted, I said Madrid. It’s an easy answer.”
The May 28 showdown is a reminder of the 2018 final where the same teams played each other and Real Madrid claimed a 3-1 win.
In that particular encounter, Salah went off early after a controversial challenge by Sergio Ramos.
Meanwhile, the attacker has appreciated all who made it possible for him to be crowned the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year.
The Egypt international has scored 30 goals and provided 15 assists in the 46 matches played across all competitions this term.
“It feels great; first of all, I want to thank everybody who voted for me. Of course, journalists are a big part of the football family. Hopefully, we can win some more this season,” Salah said as quoted by the club’s official site.
“I just try to enjoy my football and enjoy my time at the club, help the team to win trophies – that’s the most important thing.”
The team is in the Uefa Champions League final, the FA Cup final and has already won the League Cup, and is in the race to win the Premier League.
“We have been together for five years now, most of us – some players more than five years. We know what it takes to win,” Salah added.
“We just try to give our 100 percent. We need to focus on each game. You could see that also in the last game, we were 2-0 down in an away game and we managed to come back. That’s really important, for our mindset as well for the next game.”