Mohamed Salah targets Champions League final revenge: 'I want to play Real Madrid'

Liverpool reach third European Cup final in five years with 5-2 aggregate victory against Villarreal

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Mohamed Salah has revenge on his mind after admitting he would prefer Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League final later this month.

Liverpool booked their place in the May 28 final after surviving a scare against Villarreal on Tuesday night. Leading 2-0 after last week's semi-final first leg at Anfield, the Reds found themselves 2-0 down at El Madrigal and the tie level at half time. However, second-half goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz, and Sadio Mane secured a 3-2 win on the night and a 5-2 aggregate victory to send the Premier League club through to their third European Cup final in five years.

The first of those finals, in 2018, ended in a heartbreaking 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid which saw Salah exit the pitch injured and in tears following a heavy fall under a challenge by then Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

A rematch with Madrid could be on the cards, with the recently-crowned La Liga champions facing Manchester City in the other semi-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. City hold a slender advantage after last Tuesday's epic 4-3 win at Etihad Stadium.

"I want to play Madrid," Salah, 29, told BT Sport. "City is a really tough team, we've played against them a few times this season. If you ask me personally, I'd prefer Madrid."

Asked if he wanted revenge against the Spanish side, Salah said: "We lost in the final against them, so I want to play against them and hopefully win it from them as well."

Tuesday's win in Spain means Liverpool remain on track of a historic quadruple and ensures the club will play in every match they could have potentially played this season. Having secured the League Cup in February, Liverpool are one point behind City in the Premier League table and will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

Villarreal v Liverpool player ratings

Salah said it was the character of Liverpool that allowed them to respond to going behind to Villarreal and keep alive their chase of a full sweep of trophies.

"It was tough in the first half but then we went to the dressing room, the gaffer [Jurgen Klopp] started talking and we talked to each other as well," the Egyptian forward said.

"That character and personality in the dressing room shows that we are a top team, so that's why we can strike back after losing 2-0 in the first half playing away.

"The quadruple is the target now," Salah added. "Maybe not at the start of the season. I am always honest and focus on the Champions League and Premier League. But now, why not?"

Updated: May 04, 2022, 9:39 AM
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