Karim Benzema has aimed a thinly-veiled dig in the direction of Mohamed Salah ahead of this weekend’s Champions League final showdown between Real Madrid and Liverpool. The Spanish giants emerged victorious when the two clubs met in the same fixture back in 2018 but their English opponents will be desperate to claim revenge when they do battle at the Stade de France on Saturday evening.
Salah was forced off early on with a dislocated shoulder after tangling with Sergio Ramos four years ago and was forced to watch Liverpool fall to a devastating 3-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid from the dressing room on that occasion. The Egyptian maestro, who has chipped in with 31 goals in all competitions over the course of this season to date, recently underlined his desire to seek redemption at the next available opportunity with a stern message upon reaching this year’s Champions League final earlier this month.
“I’m so excited, I said before the game that I wanted to play Madrid in the final,” said Salah following Liverpool’s semi-final win over Villarreal.
“We lost in the  final, it was a sad day for all of us, and I think it is revenge time. I’m sure it is going to be a tough game, they beat a lot of good teams, so we just need to focus on the game.”
Salah’s fighting words have since been shot down by Benzema, who will be hoping to rival the Liverpool winger for this season’s Ballon d’Or after leading a hugely impressive campaign with Real Madrid over the last nine months. The Frenchman told Movistar in no uncertain terms that he is not concerned with anything that Salah has to say by insisting that Real Madrid are a different beast and will be equally determined to claim victory when hostilities are finally renewed in Paris on Saturday.
“Liverpool have a lot of confidence,” sneered Benzema. “Maybe they think they already won the game, maybe they think this isn’t the same Real Madrid as before, that they’re favourites. Salah can say whatever he wants.”
It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will be able to get the job done against Real Madrid at the second time of asking by downing the newly-crowned Spanish champions and securing a seventh Champions League title this weekend. The Reds have already won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season and will fancy their chances of picking up yet another trophy to add to their collection after missing out on Premier League glory to Manchester City despite managing to beat Wolves on the final day of the campaign.
However, it will not be an easy task for Liverpool to pip Real Madrid to the crown in spite of their incredible form over the course of this season to date. The La Liga heavyweights overcame the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and City on their way to this year’s final and will be desperate to clinch a record-breaking 14th continental triumph by adding Jurgen Klopp’s men to their list of high-profile victims under the lights in the French capital.
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