Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool have tools to combat Real Madrid’s experience
Real have won European football’s premier competition three times in the past four years.
Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s hunger and desire can cancel out Real Madrid’s experience in the Champions League final.
The Reds are the clear underdogs for Saturday’s showpiece clash in Kiev.
Real are bidding for a third successive crown and a fourth in the past five years, as well as a 13th in total.
Liverpool have won the competition five times themselves but the last of their final appearances came 11 years ago and they did not even play in Europe last season.
Klopp said: “They are more experienced. It is a fact. If there was an ‘experience’ market they should sell it, because then they would be even more rich than they are already.
“Experience is very important in life but not the only important thing. There are other things, especially in football. I know that.
“It is an advantage to be more experienced but you can level it with desire, readiness, attitude, workrate, and that is good, that is what I love in football.”
Who will come out on top in 2018? 🤔#UCLfinal— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 21, 2018
Klopp feels Liverpool’s exhilarating run in the competition, which has included impressive defeats of Manchester City and Roma in the knockout stages, will equip them well for the challenge they will face this weekend.
“We have our own experience,” the German said. “We don’t have the experience of winning the last two finals but we have made our own experience and that is good as well.
“We are not as long together as Real Madrid – they not only won the last two finals but they played those finals with pretty much the same team. That is very special. So as a group they are very strong.
“But we have a chance and let’s give it a try. Let’s go there and try to perform on a level which maybe people would say it is not possible for us. But it is possible.
“It was a very exciting journey so far and now we want to bring it to the best possible end.”
Klopp was speaking at Anfield after his team began their week of preparations for the final with an open training session.
Midfielders Emre Can and James Milner were both involved after recent injuries. Can has not played since March due to a back injury but played a full part in the session and could be in contention.
“The impression is really positive but we have to wait again,” Klopp said. “It is really nice to have him back in the group. He is really desperate to be part of it.”
Can is out of contract at the end of the season but Klopp said he had “no clue” about reports suggesting the 24-year-old is to sign a deal with Juventus.
He added: “That is not important in the moment. In this moment he is 100 per cent here and that is the only thing I am interested in.”
Klopp is relishing the occasion, admittedly more so than last week’s final Premier League game of the season against Brighton.
He said: “I am really looking forward to the game. I want to play it.
“It is completely different to the Brighton game, I didn’t want to play it. I thought if we could I would buy a 1-0 win and go home if they didn’t show up. But this game I really want to play. It will be exciting.”