Liverpool’s upcoming clash with Real Madrid in the Last 16 of the Champions League will, understandably, invite dread in some quarters after the painful 1-0 defeat suffered in Paris back in May.
The Merseysiders will be up for the challenge over two legs, nonetheless, especially with a fully-packed Anfield available this time around to help swing the chances in Jurgen Klopp’s outfit’s favour.
If that isn’t motivation enough, the squad only need remind themselves of what Luka Modric told Mo Salah at the Stade de France after Carlo Ancelotti’s men secured their 14th title in the competition.
“I have a funny anecdote,” the 21-year-old told the Cortes Podcast (via ESPN).
“Once the final was over, we [Madrid players] lined up and Liverpool [players] went by. A depleted Salah passed by.
“Modric was in front of me, he greeted him [Salah] and told him “Ok, ok, you try again next time.”
It’s a condescending series of words that will have haunted our Egyptian King after stating his intention to get revenge over Los Blancos.
We should remember that we were the superior team of the two on the pitch (though that will provide little in the way of comfort amid our struggles for form) and that a Champions League clash over two legs is a very different beast to a one-off game.
Madrid have every right to feel confident going into the tie, though if performances improve after the World Cup – not to forget either the likelihood of injuries subsiding and potential additions being made in the January window – it won’t be quite as clearcut as some are perhaps expecting.
Salah will no doubt be champing at the bit to get his long overdue revenge, though he would do well this time to keep that desire to himself (along with the rest of the squad) and burning brightly in the pit of his stomach.