Jurgen Klopp hopes Liverpool can make the most of their experience in major finals when they take on a ‘top-class’ Real Madrid side in the final of the Champions League this weekend.
The Reds take on Real in Paris on Saturday night as they look to claim their seventh European Cup. Their last coming back in 2019 after they beat Tottenham Hotspur at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Liverpool are no strangers to finals under Klopp having appeared in eight since the German took charge of the club back in October 2015. So far this season, the Reds have claimed the League Cup and FA Cup – beating Chelsea on penalties each time.
Saturday’s game will also be Liverpool’s third appearance in the European Cup final in the past five seasons, with them having also claimed six trophies in four years.
That success came following defeat at the hands of Real in the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv. A brace from Gareth Bale helped the Spanish giants to a 3-1 victory after Sadio Mane cancelled out Karim Benzema’s opener.
“Oh, we did it the Liverpool way, which is the hard way. So, we lost [some] big finals, obviously,” the German replied when asked by UEFA how his side has evolved since Kyiv.
“In the first year [of his time in charge], Europa League final and the Carabao Cup final. All of these experiences are important in life. They are. But they are not nice [in] any way.
“So then, we came back and we had to learn [how to win]. We had to learn [how to] be at our top level of focus and concentration in a game like this.
“To do all the things you do over the years, to use it in such a high, prolific game – and that’s the plan. So yeah, I think if we are not entering a world-class team already but you want to get there then you’re going to have to learn [how].
“And that’s what we did and I’m really happy with how the boys have developed over the years. That’s why the group has been pretty together since then. [This hasn’t] happened a lot but some players are playing a third Champions League final, which is absolutely incredible.”
Liverpool booked their place in the Paris showdown after overcoming Villarreal in the semi-finals. Klopp’s side eventually prevailed 5-2 on aggregate.
While Real booked their place in the final after coming from behind to leave Manchester City stunned. Despite trailing both on the night, and in the tie, Carlo Ancelotti’s side somehow prevailed.
Rodrygo scored twice to force an extra 30 minutes, cancelling out Riyad Mahrez’s opener in the process, before Karim Benzema struck from the spot to seal a 6-5 win on aggregate for Los Blancos .
Much has changed at Real since the two sides met four years ago, but Klopp has warned his side that they will be facing a world-class team, who know how to win football games this weekend.
He said: “It was always tough [against Real]. It’s because, first and foremost, they are a world-class team, a world-class club, and they know how to win football games.
“I think …