Champions League final: Sergio Ramos says Mohamed Salah is merely 'in fashion'

Eloise Marshall
May 26, 2018

There will be goals. When the whistle goes that is a different story, but when we arrive in Kiev, when we see all the Liverpool fans, when we go on the pitch for the warm up, we have to enjoy it and make yourself ready. So while he is cool, he tries to make his players work and follow the pathway where he wants them to be.

Their early form in the group stages certainly didn't hint at what was to come.

Marc Mayo: If this game is to unfold as the "you score five, we score six" affair that seems nearly inevitable, Madrid will need every bit of firepower they possess out on the pitch.

Enter Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool, who play in England's Premier League, boast two goal-scoring powerhouses in Egypt's Mohamed Salah and Brazil's Roberto Firmino.

At the back, van Dijk has made a similar, if less spectacular, impact, helping to bring stability and even confidence to a defence which had long be considered brittle, vulnerable and prone to terrible gaffes.

"Do Real Madrid, sitting in Madrid at the moment, think, 'thank God it's Liverpool!'?".

"We have beaten the biggest team in each league - Juve, PSG and Bayern - to get here".

The screens also confirmed both teams will play in their traditional home colours as Serbian referee Milorad Mazic takes charge of the proceedings. The experience they have is a big advantage. Zidane and most of his team have been here before and crucially have won at this level before.

Not a single member of Liverpool's squad, meanwhile, has played in a Champions League final.

Klopp has the chance to become only the fourth manager in the club's long history to win a European Cup, following in the hallowed footsteps of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Rafael Benitez. There's a feeling this time out that the sides are more evenly matched.

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A Liverpool fan in Nigeria made his predictions to the BBC, saying: "I'm sure Liverpool is going to carry the cup, and I predict 3-1". Well it will largely be what they've done all year.

Just as Liverpool have had their issues at the back, so have Madrid, and the amount of genuine chances they coughed up against Bayern Munich in the semi-finals should be enough to give the Reds some real encouragement.

And it appears Carragher couldn't help himself in getting caught up in the excitement ahead of Saturday evening's final.

And it is not just Salah's on-pitch skills that have got people talking.

There is no doubt about Cristiano Ronaldo's position in the Real Madrid team to face Liverpool, but who will line up alongside the Portuguese forward in Kiev?

"Any player who arrived at this club they want to play in these games, they want to be under this kind of pressure, they want to get trophies".

But Madrid regressed in La Liga, surrendering its title with a third-place finish. "There isn't any sensation of fear in Madrid about Liverpool - among the directors, among the players", says Spanish journalist Diego Torres.

"To reach a final is not easy", Zidane reminded his critics. "I've had an awesome season in the Champions League", said Ronaldo, who has scored a record 120 goals in the competition overall.

"If they are a great person off the pitch too, then that's when I sign up".

"This season was exceptional, unbelievable, but there is still one more game to go".

In 1998, Karembeu was part of the Madrid team that triumphed in the Champions League for the first time since 1966 - against Zidane's Juventus, no less. Live coverage on RTÉ2 Television from 7pm.

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