“We are not here by any kind of magic,” said Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool’s third appearance in a Champions League final in five years. “We deserve this.”
Real Madrid stand in the Reds’ way at the Stade de France on Saturday, just as they did four years ago in the first of Liverpool’s European Cup finals under their German guru.
Defeated 3-1 that night in Kyiv due to two goalkeeping errors from Loris Karius, and having lost star man Mohamed Salah early on to a cruelly inflicted dislocated shoulder, might have broken other sides.
“This was a harsh night for us,” Klopp reflected on Wednesday.
Instead, a year later, the Reds were back on the biggest stage to right those wrongs by beating Tottenham in Madrid to lift a sixth European Cup.
Since then Klopp has also ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait to win a league title in 2020.
“If I sit here in four years, I am pretty confident we will have one title,” Klopp said when he first arrived as Liverpool manager. Seven years on, they very nearly won four in a season.
Saturday’s final will be their 63rd game of the campaign having reached the final of every competition.
The League Cup and FA Cup are already back in the Anfield trophy room, but Manchester City held off Liverpool’s charge since the turn of the year to win a thrilling Premier League title race on Sunday.
“Without the Champions League it would be a great season. With the Champions League it would be a fantastic season,” Klopp added.