Liverpool's visit to Valdebebas this Tuesday (9pm, Movistar Champions League) rekindles like few others the happy aftertaste of European glory in a Real Madrid downcast since the last time it reached the summit in 2018, precisely against Jürgen Klopp's team. That European Cup, the third in a row, also anticipated a catharsis in the squad that has not finished arriving and that now, almost three years later, is closer than ever. The electoral process just opened by surprise by Florentino Pérez , the notable progress in the construction of the new Bernabéu and the delay in making the leap of the next generation of footballers anticipate a summer of notable hires, despite the economic difficulties derived from the pandemic that they still persist. The depth of that transformation will be largely determined by what happens this Tuesday, in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, on Wednesday, April 16, with the return at Anfield.
In the middle, this Saturday, a classic at Di Stefano decisive for the future of the League. Two months after Zinedine Zidane rebelled energetically against the negative prospects of his team ( "I'm not going to let him, let us fight" ), the team keeps the two great titles within reach, at least eleven more days. "We deserve it," Zidane claimed again this Monday. “I trust a lot in my team, I know what it can give. This team often turns around everything that can be said, everything that can be told outside. And that's the good thing about this team, this club, this history … We never give up on things. Never never". In that defense, Nacho agreed: "We deserve respect and we deserve the opportunity to be allowed to fight," he said.
Opposite, as an obstacle to the next round, Madrid is facing a rival with pending accounts, in particular for the final who lost in Kiev in May 2018. Both coaches wanted to withdraw that high-voltage match from the stage. “We don't think about the past. The past is over, ”said Zidane .
But the embers of that clash set on fire by the set between Sergio Ramos (absent this Tuesday due to injury) and Mo Salah in which the Egyptian was injured are still alive. Although reduced, as Klopp explained: “My motivation is maximum, but it has nothing to do with 2018. Although I remember the game. A month later everyone asked me if I would invite Ramos to my 60th birthday and I said no. Now I would think about it. I can not recover that anger, but I already said that I did not like what happened that night ", said this Monday the German coach of Liverpool.
" We are not here for the rematch. That's life: you play, you win, you lose, and then you meet the same rival again. I don't believe too much in rematch. But it would be good to beat Madrid , because we would go to the round, nothing more, "Klopp continued.
Nothing more than a tie, and nothing less than the European Cup, for two teams whose history has marked the tournament and that this time they return. to seek refuge. Liverpool, due to its distance from the head of the Premier; Madrid, due to the vertigo of finally leaning into catharsis and disappointment.
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