Mohamed Salah spent a moment looking at a picture of Liverpool's 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final to motivate him ahead of their triumph over Tottenham.

Salah converted a second-minute penalty in Liverpool's 2-0 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano, and moments earlier he had been in the dressing room reminding himself of the pain he experienced in Kiev 12 months prior.

The Egypt international lasted 25 minutes of the 2018 final, leaving the field with a shoulder injury following a challenge from Madrid's Sergio Ramos, and he said the memory of that night drove him on as he took to the field against Spurs.

"I looked at the picture from last year before the game," said Salah.

"We were disappointed after the final and now we are back and have won it again, the sixth time for Liverpool. It is something great.

"I was very disappointed that I got injured and went off and we lost the game. It was something to motivate me to win.

"I didn't look at the picture for a long time. You can feel what you can beat so I just looked at it one time and said, 'Okay, let’s go.'"

Salah underlined the importance of Liverpool's defeat in Kiev even further by suggesting it was fate that the Reds would lose.

Asked whether he believed they were destined to bounce back and claim the trophy in 2019, he replied: "I do. Absolutely.

"Our job is more mental and you have to believe in yourself before the game. You could see the players; we were believing in ourselves in the game.

"I think everything happens for a reason and the reason for us to lose the final last season was to come back and win it again."

Looking ahead to 2019-20, Salah set his sights on achieving a first league title for 30 years to a set of fans who will believe the Reds can pip Manchester City next season.

Liverpool last won the league in 1989-90 but the sense of hope that Jurgen Klopp can end the wait to become Premier League champions has strengthened after the German delivered the first silverware of his tenure.

Salah added: "We will go next season for the Premier League. This season was the first season we were really fighting for the Premier League, last season we were basically fighting for the Champions League.

"The average age [of the squad] is 26 or 27, so we still have young players.

"It is good experience for us to win the trophy now and also last season we learned a lot."

Dele Alli called for Tottenham to use the pain of defeat against Liverpool in the Champions League final to drive them on next season, but admitted that missing out on Europe's top prize was "heartbreaking".

The England midfielder missed a number of opportunities at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, where goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi earned Liverpool glory in the continent's biggest competition for the sixth time on Saturday.

Tottenham will be in the Champions League again next season after finishing fourth in the Premier League and Alli said the memory of losing in Madrid could become a tool they use to better themselves.

"It's heartbreaking, no one is really speaking," the 25-year-old told reporters.

"We have to keep working, keep improving and take the feeling we have now of disappointment, that hurt and use it to drive us on.

"It’s been an amazing journey and I'd just like to say thanks to the fans for all their support.

"I'm sorry we couldn’t get over the final hurdle, but it's a great learning curve and as I said, we have to keep this feeling inside of us, this hurt and take it into next season."

Alli struggled with injuries this season and scored five goals in 25 Premier League appearances – his lowest tally in a campaign since he joined the club in February 2015.

Tottenham's form fluctuated across the course of a season that saw the club move into its new home, but Alli said the experience of the last 12 months would stand the players in good stead.

"It's time to reflect on what could have been," he said.

"At the same time, and it's difficult now, but we also have to look at how far we’ve come in reaching this final.

"It's hard to take the positives right now but over time, players, staff and fans, when we look back at the journey together. This isn't the end."

Loris Karius has congratulated Liverpool on winning the Champion League after they downed Tottenham 2-0 in Saturday's final in Madrid.

Mohamed Salah's early penalty put Liverpool on track and Divock Origi came off the bench to seal victory with three minutes to go, as the Reds celebrated a sixth European Cup/Champions League triumph.

The Reds earned redemption for their painful 3-1 loss in last year's final against Real Madrid in Kiev, when Karius was badly at fault for two goals.

And the goalkeeper, who joined Besiktas on loan ahead of this season following the signing of Alisson from Roma, was quick to congratulate his parent club.

Posting on Twitter, he wrote: "Congrats, @LFC. Really happy for everyone at the club and fans. You deserved this."

Jose Antonio Reyes will be remembered as a Sevilla great who ignored the easy choices to leave a legacy of success and love.

The Spain international's boyhood club Sevilla announced on Saturday that the winger had died at the age of 35 following a traffic collision.

"We couldn't be confirming worse news," they wrote, as the reality of the club losing one of its most famous and beloved sons set in.

Across a successful 20-year career that began in the modest surroundings of Sevilla's reserves, Reyes made 686 appearances in club football, taking him from Spain to England, Portugal and China.

The competition with which his connection was greatest was the Europa League and he is the only player to win it five times. Fittingly, Reyes' local club Sevilla are the only team to lift that same trophy on five occasions. 

He was prodigious when he first burst onto the scene, with Reyes still the youngest player to ever represent Sevilla in LaLiga, having made his debut at 16 years, four months and 29 days in January 2000.

"What I saw Reyes do I am yet to see anyone else do, except [Lionel] Messi," said Joaquin Caparros, the coach who moulded him into a player that Spain first selected in 2003.

A fine dribbler and possessor of a wondrous left foot, Reyes moved to London in January 2004 in a deal worth £17million and he was part of the Arsenal team that won the title without losing a game.

Although Reyes made an impression, winning two trophies, reaching a Champions League final and scoring some spectacular goals, he was inexperienced and thrust into an expectant atmosphere.

A combination of reported homesickness and inconsistency resulted in a loan to Real Madrid. An otherwise forgettable spell ended with Reyes crucially scoring twice against Real Mallorca to secure the title.

Atletico Madrid brought him back to Spain permanently, though initially Reyes struggled at the Vicente Calderon, where supporters refused to forget his time across the city.

After no goals in 37 appearances, Atletico sent Reyes on loan to Quique Sanchez Flores' Benfica for the 2008-09 campaign, and the following season they reunited in Madrid, where they won the Europa League.

When his Atletico career petered out, Reyes' time at the top appeared over. MLS, Turkey or the Middle East looked the easy choices for his next move. Instead, Sevilla reinvigorated him.

There was an air of 'what might've been' upon his return in January 2012. Reyes had missed the most successful period in his beloved club's history. Such a golden era would surely never be experienced again in Nervion.

But Reyes got the Sevilla success he dreamed of, winning three straight Europa League titles to take his personal tally to five.

"I think he wasn't demanding enough with himself [at Arsenal], but I also think at Sevilla he demands more from himself," Caparros said.

That was never more notable than the November 2012 Derbi Sevillano against bitter rivals Real Betis, when Reyes scored the first of a brace after 11 seconds and got an assist in a 5-1 demolition.

"Having a team-mate like Reyes is fun," Sevilla colleague Ever Banega said in 2014. For all the inconsistency, there was also sheer talent and joy – in full-flight he was every child's idea of what a footballer should be.

"He's a great, talented player," said his coach of three years, Unai Emery. "Sevilla fans love Reyes. He is different because of his talent."

He really was fun, and he was Sevilla.

Reyes departed as a hero in 2016 and went on to represent Espanyol, Cordoba, Xinjiang Tianshan and Extremadura, whom he helped save from relegation this season.

The unconditional love between Reyes and Sevilla rejuvenated his career – the club will now ensure that passion and the Europa League three-peat live on as his legacy.

Pepe Reina has offered condolences to the family of his former Spain team-mate Jose Antonio Reyes, who died on Saturday.

Former Spain, Sevilla and Arsenal star Reyes was killed in a traffic accident at the age of just 35.

Tributes have been offered from across the footballing world since Sevilla confirmed the news of his passing just hours before the Champions League final in the Spanish capital, where Reyes spent five years as a player for Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

AC Milan goalkeeper Reina, a former team-mate of Reyes with Spain, described it as a "difficult day".

He told Omnisport in Madrid: "It is a sad day. It is something that you cannot expect - 35 years old. Suddenly, you find yourself in this situation.

"My condolences for the family, for his friends...it's just a difficult day.

"The experience of 2006 in Germany [at the World Cup] seems like it was yesterday, to be there with his wife and new-born son. Life is like this, and you have to enjoy it while you can."

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez also expressed his sadness at the news.

"My condolences to the family. You cannot say too much. It is sad news for sure," he told reporters in Madrid.

There will be a moment's silence before kick-off of the Champions League final as a mark of respect for Reyes.

Cesc Fabregas described Jose Antonio Reyes as "one of the great talents in football" in an emotional tribute to his former Arsenal and Spain team-mate, who was killed in a traffic accident on Saturday.

The pair won an FA Cup during their time together at Arsenal and Fabregas opened up about the important role Reyes played in his career as a young player.

Reyes arrived in North London in January 2004, by which time the 16-year-old Fabregas had been at Arsenal for four months, and he scored two goals in 13 Premier League appearances as Arsene Wenger's unbeaten side won the title.

Fabregas wrote a touching tribute on Instagram, which read: "My first great friend in the world of professional football, my room-mate, who always wanted to sleep with the air conditioning even at minus 10 degrees.

"A humble guy who always had a smile on his face, great footballer and great person. I could not wake up today in a worse way.

"I will never forget when you and your family welcomed me at your home in my first Christmas in England when I was alone and 16-years-old.

"Our connection in the field was also special, since it was always easy to find you between the lines so you could make the difference.

"I always say that you have been one of the greatest talents in football and I know that I am not wrong. Two days ago I was talking about you in an interview, it might be a sign, who knows, to remember you, my great friend."

Players and coaches throughout the football world joined Fabregas in mourning, including former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

In a tweet posted by Arsenal's official account, Wenger said: "I am devastated to hear the terrible news about Jose.

"To his family and friends, all support from everyone in the Arsenal family. He will remain forever in our hearts."

Sevilla sporting director Monchi, who helped discover Reyes, described the winger's importance at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, telling SFC Radio: "He was the most innate talent that came out of the academy.

"Not needing to improve on anything, he was already good, and what's more, with his sale he allowed the club to grow, and then he came back to win another three titles.

"He is Sevilla history.

"I've been numb since the chairman called me, trying to wake up from what I want to be a nightmare but tragically seems to be real."

Jose Mourinho claimed being punished for comments he made during his time in the Premier League left him feeling "caged" in England.

Mourinho spent over eight seasons combined in England's top flight, across spells with Chelsea and Manchester United.

The 56-year-old has also coached in his native Portugal, and in Italy and Spain with Inter and Real Madrid respectively.

And Mourinho believes that the media pressure, along with strict rules such as those over comments on match officials, made his time in England more difficult than anywhere else, despite his three Premier League triumphs with Chelsea.

"I lived in England most of those years [the 15 years since he left Portugal]," Mourinho told Eleven Sports.

"I also spent some years in Spain where we walked there in the same habitat. I usually have people talking about it, more polemic, less polemic, more aggressiveness, less aggressiveness, but they are people of great credibility and you have great names in football to discuss about football.

"But in England it's day and night. For example, I've sometimes felt caged because you can't even comment on the referee before the game.

"I was punished for pre-match statements and statements such as, 'I hope the referee is very well, that he resists pressure from Anfield, that he has an excellent performance'. This is forbidden. This is considered to somehow induce the referee, put some kind of pressure on him.

"Even speaking well of the referee, as I did, I was punished."

Mourinho was sacked by United in December and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and the Portuguese is yet to return to management.

Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic accident at the age of 35, former club Sevilla have confirmed.

Reyes most recently played for Extremadura in Spain's second tier, representing them nine times in the second half of this season.

A former Spain international, Reyes came through Sevilla's academy having grown up in the town of Utrera, a few miles east of Andalusia's capital.

He broke into Sevilla's first-team as a teenager before earning himself a big-money move to Arsenal in 2004, staying there for three years.

A mercurial, talented winger, Reyes went on to feature for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Benfica, before returning to his boyhood club in 2011 for a five-year spell.

Reyes remains the youngest player to ever represent Sevilla in LaLiga, having made his debut at the age of 16 years, four months and 29 days in January 2000.

Although he never won a trophy with Sevilla during his first spell, he went on to play a key role in their three successive Europa League triumphs between 2014 and 2016, before departing for Espanyol.

Mauricio Pochettino believes guiding Tottenham to Champions League success would provide more "satisfaction" than doing so at Manchester United or Manchester City after lavish spending.

Spurs will contest the Champions League final against Liverpool in Madrid on Saturday, with both Pochettino and counterpart Jurgen Klopp aiming to win their first European titles.

Pochettino's side truly defied the odds to come through dramatic ties with Manchester City and Ajax – against whom they needed a last-gasp goal to draw 3-3 on aggregate after going 3-0 down – en route to the final, while they have not bought a single senior player for almost 18 months.

Although he has earned acclaim for Spurs' campaign, for a period earlier this season it looked as though his days at the club were limited, with United circling in the wake of Jose Mourinho's sacking.

But, United went for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and, as Pochettino prepares to take Spurs into a first European final since 1984, he has no doubt such a feat is more of an achievement than it would be if he did it at Old Trafford.

"To win a title in a different project like Tottenham – that means the satisfaction is more," he told reporters.

"If you win with Manchester City or Manchester United, it's normal. If you spend a lot of money, you should win or you must win. But at Tottenham, no one expects.

"And if you build something special, it is going to be remembered forever. If we win the Champions League, it's going to be a massive example for football – I think forever.

"I believe in destiny, but when you create your destiny. I don't believe in sitting here and waiting for something to happen.

"You create your destiny with your behaviour, with your actions; if you're natural, spontaneous, genuine in all that you do."

Liverpool's elite status in Europe and at home will not be affected even if they lose Saturday's Champions League final against Tottenham, according to former Red Danny Murphy.

Jurgen Klopp has overseen a major improvement at Liverpool during his four years in charge, guiding them to back-to-back Champions League finals and turning them into genuine title challengers domestically.

Although Manchester City lifted the Premier League trophy, the Reds ran them close and finished just a point adrift on 97, a record points total for runners-up in the division.

As for Spurs, they scraped a top-four finish and were 27 points off the top of the table despite looking capable of a title challenge for a period.

Victory for Spurs in Madrid on Saturday could be a game-changer in terms of attracting better players and helping them reach the next level, but the Reds will be there regardless of whether or not they add a sixth European crown to their collection.

When asked which team would be affected the most by winning the Champions League, Murphy told Omnisport: "Tottenham.

"It matters to both of them, massively, Liverpool have progressed so much that they're competing for the Premier League with City now and they've been in two Champions League finals.

"So, if Liverpool lose, are they still going to compete with City next year? Yes, they are. Are they still going to compete in the Champions League? Yes.

"Would it [defeat] be disappointing? Yes, and would the pressure increase? Yes, I think it would, but I think for Tottenham, what it would do for them in terms of attracting players, keeping their own players and keeping the manager, and making more money worldwide, it would be huge in comparison."

Some have also tied the fate of the trophy to that of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, with the Argentinian linked with Juventus, among other clubs.

But Murphy, who also played for Spurs, is convinced Pochettino is there to stay.

"I don't think he'll go [leave Spurs] either way," he added. "Personally, I think there's a lot of positivity from him.

"I know there's been a little bit of analysis on his tongue-in-cheek comments about leaving if they win it, but I think he's there for a while.

"I think he wants to be there. I think they're going to back him in the summer. It [winning the Champions League] is more about the players you can attract rather than the manager. I think he's onboard."


Murphy was talking to Omnisport on behalf of Greene King's Summer of Sport campaign, which is encouraging people to watch more sport ahead of the Champions League Final, Nations League Finals and Women's World Cup.

Luis Garcia hopes Antoine Griezmann leaves Atletico Madrid for either Liverpool or Barcelona.

Griezmann announced his intention to leave Atleti earlier this month, with Barca reportedly in pole position to sign the forward.

The LaLiga champions were said to be close to signing the player last year only for the France international to announce he was staying at Atletico in a television documentary.

Ernesto Valverde has refused to confirm whether or not Griezmann is a target for Barcelona again, with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain also reportedly interested.

Luis Garcia played for both Liverpool and Barcelona during his career and he feels the World Cup winner would be a good signing for either club.

"I can't wait to see where it's going to end. It's true that we know he’s leaving Atletico Madrid but we don't know anything else," Luis Garcia told Omnisport. 

"So, is it going to be Barcelona or is it going to be United, or Italy? Looking forward, I think it was the moment for him.

"He's been waiting for Atletico Madrid because he knew how important he was for their supporters but he decided to make the step, and now just looking forward to seeing where he's going to be playing next year.

"Me? Of course, I'm a Barcelona supporter, Liverpool supporter, I would love to have him in my squad. So, any of those teams, I'd be happy to see him in."

Barcelona look set to stick with head coach Ernesto Valverde despite their shock loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final, which followed their stunning Champions League exit to Liverpool.

"I'm happy for that to be honest. I think you have to give credit to Barcelona," added Luis Garcia, who left Barca to move to Anfield in 2004.

"It's true that they didn't win the cup, they couldn't manage to get to the Champions League final, but it’s not easy what Valverde is doing, winning LaLiga. Being in [Europe] until the end.

"At the end, only one team can win the Champions League final, it's very difficult to manage all those kinds of situations. So I'm happy and looking forward to seeing how he's going to manage for next year.

"What kind of player he’s going to bring or he's going to let go out. So, looking forward and quite excited."

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed talk of him being plagued by back luck as Liverpool prepare to face Tottenham in his third Champions League final.

Since his domestic double at Borussia Dortmund in 2012, Klopp has been the runner-up in two Champions Leagues, the Europa League, the League Cup and two DFB-Pokals.

The Liverpool manager's last six finals have ended in defeat, but the German is not concerned about that record ahead of the showdown with Tottenham in Madrid on Saturday.

"If I would be the reason for losing six finals in a row, then everybody needs to worry really," he said at a press conference on the eve of the all-Premier League showdown.

"So if that's not the case then we always have to have a chance and that's how we see it actually,

B O B B Y  pic.twitter.com/6Azykl1pSz

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 31, 2019

"Since 2012, apart from 2017, I was with my team every year in the final. So we came there sometimes with luck in some moments, but most of the time because we had to go there, so I am probably in the moment world-record holder in the last seven years at least in winning semi-finals.

"I'm a normal human being, so if I would sit in the room and think it's all about me, I'm the reason, if I would see myself as a 'loser' or whatever, then we all would have a problem, but I don't see it like this."

He added: "I think there can be moments that are lucky and unlucky and in the few finals I was part of we were never on the lucky side, it's true, but I cannot change that."

 

Mauricio Pochettino refused to reveal whether Tottenham striker Harry Kane will start the Champions League final.

Kane has not played since he was injured against Manchester City late in the first leg of the quarter-final on April 9.

The England captain has trained ahead of Spurs facing Liverpool in Madrid on Saturday, but Pochettino will make a late call over whether Kane plays from the outset.

"We have one training session now and then we are going to decide," Pochettino told a news conference.

Lucas Moura's hat-trick against Ajax in the semi-finals completed a stunning comeback for Spurs, who are in their first Champions League final.

But the Brazil international could be the man to make way for Kane should the striker be deemed fit enough to lead the line for Spurs.

And Pochettino accepts it will be a difficult decision to leave out Kane or, alternatively, one of the other players who helped overcome Ajax in such dramatic circumstances.

"It's normal you are asking me, it's difficult for you to be in my place or different coaches, it's normal, it's not easy," Pochettino added.

"Making a decision will not be easy, the last games we played, the quarters and semis, the last 16, every game you need to take a decision.

"Tomorrow is another decision, for sure we have all the information, every single detail, we take the best decision to win. Like always it's painful in football you can only use 11 players it's the most painful situation.

"From the first moment [of a career] when you play with seven, then go to 11, you know your team-mates who are in the training may not play.

"For me, respect must be massive for the players who are selected and we want to show that. Tough decisions are painful but it's part of my job to pick the starting XI and to try to win the game."

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson both picked out Tottenham forward Lucas Moura as a major threat to Liverpool's bid for Champions League glory in Madrid.

In the absence of injured talisman Harry Kane, Lucas was the hero in the semi-finals for Mauricio Pochettino's side, scoring a hat-trick to overcome Ajax on away goals after Spurs had been 2-0 down at half-time in the second leg of the tie.

Kane may be fit to return for the final, with Mauricio Pochettino unwilling to disclose whether or not he will bring the striker back into the side that spectacularly battled back against Ajax.

Alexander-Arnold has also seen plenty of Lucas the Premier League but, while impressed by the forward, the England international did not want to focus too much on individuals ahead of the clash.

"[Lucas] Moura's at the top of the list in terms of their best players," he said at a pre-match press conference.

"We're used to how he plays and how Tottenham play as a team. It's not about us singling out players. As a team they've showed their quality."

Fellow full-back Robertson agreed with his team-mate: "Lucas was the hero at Ajax. He's a fantastic player with fantastic qualities. We've come up against him before and it's all about trying to deal with that."

One final #UCLfinal training session

Watch the Reds LIVE at Estadio Metropolitano. https://t.co/g111DmCphv

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 31, 2019

Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the 2018 final but are favourites to lift the trophy on Saturday, though Robertson is not taking anything for granted.

"I don't think they [Tottenham] are underdogs. The games we've had in the Premier League against them are the toughest we've played," the Scotland captain said.

"They can cause us problems, but we can cause them problems too - as with any team. It's about who shows up better on the day."

Alexander-Arnold revealed Liverpool's plan for the final is to look to take the initiative from the off, allowing them to nullify Spurs' best qualities.

"We play with a certain style and we'll try not to change that for any team. If we sit back and let them get on top of us, that's when they're at their best," he said.

"We need to be on top and in their half; that will work for us tomorrow. Whatever happens, we'll try to play our way."

Liverpool have made a habit of reaching European finals in recent years, including losing to Sevilla in the 2016 Europa League final, and Robertson is keen to use their previous experiences as a positive, despite the results.

"A lot of us played in Kiev last season who can use that experience [of losing] and deal with the pressure," the defender added. "We can't focus on Kiev or Basel. If we did, we'd struggle all the time."

Liverpool are not favourites against Tottenham in the Champions League final, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

Spurs are widely perceived to be underdogs for Saturday's clash, with Liverpool having finished 26 points better off in the Premier League.

Mauricio Pochettino has led Tottenham to their first European Cup/Champions League final while Liverpool are bidding for their sixth crown, although they have not won any silverware under Klopp.

The second all-English European final of the season will be played in Madrid and Klopp does not feel either side should be considered the favourites.

"If I thought Tottenham had an advantage I would be mad," Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

"I know people say we are the favourites because we have more points in the league.

"But if you saw our games against Tottenham this season, it was only 2-1. There's no advantage before the game.”

Last year's final in Kiev saw Liverpool lose to Real Madrid, with Loris Karius making two poor errors and Mohamed Salah being substituted with a shoulder injury after a clash with Sergio Ramos.

Klopp himself also has a poor record in finals, suffering defeats in his last six spanning his time on Merseyside and at previous club Borussia Dortmund.

"All the circumstances were different [in the finals I've been in], the teams were different," Klopp added. "If I were the reason for losing six finals then everyone needs to worry. Last year was a world-class goal [by Gareth Bale] and two strange goals we normally don’t concede.

"We're a year older. Players like Trent [Alexander-Arnold] have 50 more games in their legs. The boys performed in the final [last year]. It was not like we didn't have many chances.

"Last year we surprised ourselves a little that we were in the final. We were not as consistent as we are now.

"We have two proper football teams in the final. I respect a lot what Poch did.

"He had a very talented group when he came here. How they have improved has been really impressive. It's a real football final – both have to deal with that."

 

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