Jurgen Klopp feels Liverpool are ready to make the final step of their “very exciting journey” by beating Real Madrid to win the Champions League in Kiev on Saturday.
The Reds knocked out Premier League champions Manchester City and then Roma to secure a place in the showpiece European final at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
In Real Madrid, however, Klopp’s men face a club looking to become the first to win the European Cup for three seasons in a row since Bayern Munich in 1976.
JÃ¼rgen Klopp looking relaxed. âI have loved this season because it had been a big step.â pic.twitter.com/MgkU9RAx1M— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) May 21, 2018
Victory in Kiev would, though, give Liverpool a sixth European crown – and Klopp is relishing the challenge ahead.
“We feel really good. It has been a very exciting journey so far. Now we want to bring it to the best possible end,” the German coach said.
“They are more experienced – that is a fact. Experience is important in life, but it is not the only thing.
"If we were not in a strong place psychologically, then we would not be here. We are strong. We faced so many difficult situations, we went through. We are as a group long together. I am really happy with the place we are in."— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 21, 2018
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“You can level it with desire, attitude and work-rate – and that is why I love football.”
Klopp refused to answer a question about whether star man Mohamed Salah, leading scorer in the Premier League, is more important to Liverpool than Cristiano Ronaldo is to Real, the Portuguese forward out to claim a fourth Champions League crown in five years.
“I can already read the headlines… which is why I won’t answer that question!” he said.
Centre-back Dejan Lovren has urged his team-mates to seize the opportunity in Kiev.
The 28-year-old Croatian said at a press conference: “I would say it is a dream come true for everyone. I always dreamed of being in the final and of one day lifting the trophy.
“We have the biggest chance of our lives. For some it will be the only one, others will have more.
“Hopefully we can do ourselves proud. We have done a great job from the beginning.”
Lovren added: “We really deserve to be in the final. Hopefully in many years we can tell our kids and families we did our best and won the trophy. We have nothing to lose. We can’t wait.”
Liverpool spent part of last week at a training camp in Marbella, but have now returned to Merseyside before travelling to Ukraine later this week.
Earlier on Monday, James Milner and Emre Can had both featured during an open training session at Anfield.
Milner missed the final Premier League game of the season with a muscle problem, while fellow midfielder Can has been out since March with a back injury, but could come into contention for Saturday’s European tie.