Mohamed Salah insists Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League tie with Real Madrid is not about him and Sergio Ramos.
The two European heavyweights face off at the quarter-final stage of the competition next month, in a repeat of the 2018 final.
Real claimed a 3-1 win in Kiev and the game was arguably the lowest point of Salah’s Liverpool career after he was forced off in tears after just half-an-hour.
Following a tangle with the Real skipper, the forward suffered a shoulder injury that would also impact his contribution for Egypt at the World Cup the following month.
Ramos claimed the incident had been ‘blown out of all proportion’ afterwards and that Salah had later told him he was okay with it.
The Liverpool man, though, responded: “He sent me a message, but I never told him it was ‘fine’.”
But the Reds forward believes the upcoming clash isn’t about him getting revenge on Ramos, but about his side moving one step closer to winning this season’s competition.
He said: “Let’s just say that I have special motivation to win the tie and go through to the semi finals.
“What’s going to happen now isn’t going to change the result of the final in Kiev. That’s in the past.”
Before Salah continued: “That game is in the past, so I don’t think about it. I’m thinking about the team. Everyone is focused on their team and everyone wants to win… that’s it.
“I thought about how good it would be if we got through to the semi finals.”
The Liverpool forward also revealed he didn’t have a preference about who he wanted to face in the last eight and doesn’t believe it is better to face Real now instead of in the final.
“Well, I didn’t have a preference. It’s the quarter finals – I didn’t care one way or the other,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter to me. We’re in the quarter finals – all the teams are top-class, very good.”
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the tie will take place behind closed doors, and Salah believes Liverpool are the side who have suffered the most without fans in attendance this season.
He said: “Anfield! I think everyone can say that. Anfield. We’ve lost a lot without our fans. I think we’re the team that suffers most without fans.”
And in a wide-ranging interview with Spanish publication Marca, the Reds forward also gave his thoughts on Real coach Zinedine Zidane and his side’s players.
“He’s a great coach. He’s won three Champions Leagues. He’s doing a very good job with the team,” he said on Zidane.
“He left and he came back to help the team win trophies again. He was one of my idols when I was little. He’s doing great as a coach.”
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Before adding on Real’s players: “I can’t pick one… the majority of them are great players. Hazard.
“I have a great relationship with him, he did very well at Chelsea, but he’s not getting any luck at the moment. Luka [Modric].
“I also get on really well with him. We’ve met each other a few times. I can’t pick one because they’re top players and it’s a top club.”
What do you make of Mohamed Salah’s comments on Real Madrid? Let us know in the comments section below.
“I think our team is good enough as it is and that’s it,” Salah replied when pushed on which Real player he would sign for Liverpool.
The Reds forward also had a short and sweet message for the La Liga side when asked what has changed at the Anfield club since the 2018 final.
“Since then, we’ve won the Premier League and the Champions League. We’re winners. That’s a big change,” he said.