Mohamed Salah has stated that he has “unique motivation” for Liverpool’s first Champions League match against Real Madrid following their loss in 2018 final.

Next Tuesday’s quarter-final pits Liverpool against Zinedine Zidane’s side for the first time since Kyiv, when Sergio Ramos’s catch on Salah, Loris Karius’ errors, and Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead kick formed a thrilling tie.

Salah downplayed talk of avenging Ramos for the incident that knocked him out of 2018 final with a shoulder injury in an interview with Marca. Yet he acknowledged that the events of that night had not gone unnoticed.

“Let’s just claim that I have extra incentive to win the tie and advance to the semi-finals,” Liverpool’s top scorer said. What happens now will have little impact on the outcome of the final in Kyiv. That is a thing of the past.”

Salah said of facing Madrid’s captain for the first time since Kyiv: “The game is in the past, so I don’t care about it. I’m considering the squad. Everybody is concentrating on their teams, and everyone wants to win. It is all.”

Salah acknowledged that Liverpool’s mediocre Premier League title defense, which he attributes to adversity and the fact that “lots of stuff happened at once,” had heightened Jürgen Klopp’s squad’s resolve to turn their campaign with another Champions League victory in Istanbul.

The Egypt international was asked about leaving Liverpool and going to La Liga in his second interview with a Spanish sports daily this season. “I want to be able to play for many years to come. “Why not?” he replied. “No one knows what will happen in the future, but maybe one day, yes.”

In response to the possibility of relocating this summer, he said, “It’s not up to me.” We’ll see what happens, so I’d rather not mention it right now.”

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig has announced that selling Ibrahima Konaté this summer is “not a choice” after the France Under-21s defender was linked with a move to Anfield. Following this season’s devastating injury issues, Liverpool has compiled a shortlist of central defensive acquisitions, and Konaté, who has a release clause of about £34 million, is thought to be among them.


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