Jurgen Klopp admits Real Madrid are favourites for the Champions League final, but says a club of Liverpool’s stature should not be viewed as underdogs.
The two teams will enter Saturday’s much-anticipated decider in Kiev at vastly different stages of their development.
Zinedine Zidane’s star-studded Los Blancos are aiming to be crowned European champions for the fourth time in five seasons, while the Reds have surpassed expectations to reach the final in just their second Champions League campaign in eight seasons.
Yet Klopp, a beaten finalist with Borussia Dortmund in 2013, is far from overawed by the size of the task, drawing inspiration from his club’s famous 2005 triumph.
“Yes [Madrid] are favourites, they know everything, they can write their own scripts because they have [now] experienced it four times in the last five years,” the German said.
“There have been three dominant clubs in the last few years, and we are facing one of them. I have no problem with the situation and I don’t feel like an underdog.
“Liverpool were absolutely not favourites in 2005 [against AC Milan], and that was before they went 3-0 down.
“To be honest, we like the role we are in. We like the situation and we are in a good moment. Real Madrid are a side of the highest quality going for three wins in three years, but we are Liverpool. That’s something not to forget.”
“You always have to try to create a plan to deny the qualities of an opponent, but you also have to bring through your own qualities.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 20, 2018
As he plots a path to his first trophy since arriving at Anfield, Klopp believes the clash will come down to a matter of motivation.
“In the end it will be a test of whose desire is bigger. Real have almost exactly the same line-up from winning it before, and that’s really rare,” he said.
“They will want to do it again but we will try to stop them. In a final, thank God, everything is possible.”
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