Steve McManaman: ″You can’t beat Liverpool ″ | Sports | DW

Steve McManaman will be ripped off Saturday night. Liverpool, his childhood club with whom he played 364 games, meets Real Madrid, the club with which he twice won the Champions League. So who would the 50-year-old former England international want to win in the First Division final in Paris? (Kick-off at 21.00 CEST)?

“I can’t win or lose,” McManaman responds to DW. “I have friends in both camps. After all these years, Real Madrid still have the same equipment staff and most of the physicists. It’s great to see people like that and you want them to do well. But I’m always still working in the Liverpool academy and I want Liverpool to succeed – Needless to say.”

Chief McManaman

It is not only a meeting of the two clubs where he spent 13 of his 15 years as a player, but also a return to Paris where he spent his best time as a player.

McManaman’s shot from the edge of the penalty area was the decisive second goal in Real Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League final win over Valencia in 2000, an all-Spanish match at the Stade de France – the very stadium where his former clubs will now compete. .

“It’s surreal,” McManaman said, before pausing for a moment. “I was at the press conference in Madrid on Tuesday and someone reminded me that the 2000 final was exactly 22 years ago. My kids are with me in Paris this weekend, maybe I’ll show them where I scored the ball from.”

The 2022 final is a restart of the 2018 Champions League final and the 1981 European Cup final. Four years ago, Real Madrid beat Liverpool 3-1 after a blunt foul from Real defender Sergio Ramos Mohamed Salah, after which the Liverpool star was unable to continue after a foul A pass from Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius and an overhead kick from Gareth Bale of Madrid.

McManaman recalls Liverpool’s European Cup victory in 1981 at the Parc des Princes, another major football stadium in Paris, “of course Liverpool and Real Madrid also made history in 1981 when Alan Kennedy scored the winning goal.” “This is a duel with a lot of history.”

The fourth Champions League final for Klopp’s team

Saturday’s final will be Jurgen Klopp’s fourth Champions League final: his third for Liverpool after Borussia Dortmund’s final against Bayern Munich in London in 2013. Only in 2019 (against Tottenham Hotspur) did Klopp return with the title. McManaman rates Liverpool as strong as ever.

McManaman: Klopp did an exceptional job

“Liverpool is a team you can’t beat when their players are in good spirits – and they always seem to be,” said the former international. “Even in extra-time finals, they always seem to find a way. And it wasn’t easy this year in the Champions League, where they joined a group with Milan, Atletico Madrid and Porto. They did it with flying colors, and then they beat Inter Milan” .

McManaman says Klopp and the others in charge of the Reds have done a “fantastic job”: “Everything they touch seems to be turning to gold at the moment.”

Magical Madrid moments

But Real Madrid, which has been written off at times this season, also reached the final of the 20th European Football Premier League and provided some unforgettable moments in the process.

Karim Benzema celebrates.

Benzema’s hat-trick in just 18 minutes against PSG was one of the most memorable moments of this year’s competition

Karim Benzema’s quick hat-trick against Paris Saint-Germain [Paris St. Germain – Anm. d. Red.] It was exceptional, Luka Modric’s superb pass against Chelsea – those defining moments in the competition this season for me,” said McManaman. It was more difficult. “They beat the Italian champions in their group, then the English and French champions, and also defeated the defending champions. They have an incredible winning streak and [mit Carlo Ancelotti] Incredible coach too.”

So a real advantage? “Some teams have affinity with some titles and Madrid definitely have one for the Champions League,” McManaman concludes. “But so is Liverpool.”

Quoted from the English Kaley Cobbs

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