Speaking to the club’s official website, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted that the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw against Real Madrid gives his team ‘something special’ to look forward to.
Liverpool have had a few run-ins against Real Madrid in recent years but they have often come out the second-best in those encounters.
After all, the Reds lost to Los Blancos in the finals of the 2017/18 season, then fell in the quarter-finals of the 2020/21 campaign, before once again falling to Carlo Ancelotti’s mentality monsters in the finals of the Champions League last term.
So, there will be revenge on their minds when they face off against the reigning European champions again this season. And Klopp has insisted that he is looking forward to the special tie against Real Madrid.
“The first thing that we can say about this draw is it is proper Champions League. This is a tie that speaks for itself and one that we should all be excited about,” the German tactician said.
“I know we have played Real Madrid in a couple of recent finals but it is not so often that our two clubs have met in a two-legged tie so now we can look forward to this happening.
“Real’s European record is the best around. We know this. But we also know that ours is not too bad. On top of this, we know that we have Anfield and everyone knows what this means,” he added.
Further calling the draw as very exciting, Klopp said: “It is a really good draw. A really exciting draw. The games themselves are still a few months away but it does not take a great deal of imagination to think what the atmosphere will be like at both games.
“There is a lot of football to be played before this, of course, so we will focus on each game as it comes but yes, this draw has given us something special to look forward to.”
Real Madrid face Liverpool in the first leg of the tie away at Anfield on February 21. The Merengues host the Reds back at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg on March 15.
Real Madrid the most likely destination for Kylian Mbappe with Liverpool not pushing for transfer
Journalist Florian Plettenberg has affirmed that despite Liverpool’s continued interest, Real Madrid remain the most realistic destination for Kylian Mbappe either for next year or the year after that.
As far as PSG are concerned, the Ligue 1 champions are totally relaxed over the drama as they are now financially secure for his possible departure. Nonetheless, Liverpool are not at all pushing for the player which leaves Real Madrid as the only team as suitors.
Mbappe has declined an extension offer from PSG, as his current deal is set to expire in 2024 and the 24-year-old forward seems poised to determine his future destination sooner rather than later.
As for Real Madrid, while they have denied holding any talks with the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, the interest in him has always been there as he remains one of the club’s main targets for 2024.
One last attempt for Mbappe?
Real Madrid have been chasing Mbappe since 2021 and while there have been instances when he almost joined, the move has always failed to materialise for some reason.
Last year, he ended up signing a new contract and this year, as he looked certain to leave PSG, a sudden change of heart saw him stay put. Now, there are going to be some repercussions of his continued ignorance.
These repercussions Mbappe will experience if rejects Madrid once again as it is said that the team from the Spanish capital is fed up with playing this game and if the move fails next summer, the door for Mbappe will be closed forever.
On the contrary, Plettenberg reports that it is not a matter of if for Mbappe, but a matter of when.
So even if they somehow miss out on his acquisition this summer, they will be able to sign him in 2025 as they are currently the only team running for his signature.