Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp concerned over new pitch for Champions League final

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said his team are close to achieving 'the maximum'

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp questioned the need to drop a new pitch into the Stade de France two days before the Champions League final on Saturday.

Klopp shrugged off questions over Sadio Mane's future but did express concerns over the quality of the surface at Friday’s press conference.

He said he wants Liverpool to show they can more than match Real Madrid as the European giants collide in a Champions League final on Saturday for the second time in five seasons.

“Usually when a pitch looks new, it's good news. This pitch is new since yesterday, that's obviously not the best news but for both teams,” he said.

“That somebody thought it was a good idea to bring the pitch to the stadium the day before the game is an interesting idea.

“It didn't kill my mood by one per cent. As long as both teams have the same circumstances I'm fine with it.”

Liverpool are looking to complete a treble in Paris having already won the League Cup and FA Cup.

Mane, whose contract expires in 2023, has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich and the Senegalese told reporters this week he will reveal a “special” answer to questions over where he will play next season after the final.

“This is the wrong moment to speak about that. Wherever Sadio plays next season, he will be a big player,” Klopp said on Friday.

Real Madrid were too strong when the sides meet in the final in Kyiv in 2018, but Klopp's men bounced back to become European champions a year later and are now in their third final under the German.

Liverpool will join AC Milan as the second most successful club in European Cup history with seven titles if they lift the trophy at the Stade de France. Madrid are well out in front as the kings of Europe with 13 titles.

Madrid have needed stirring fightbacks to see off Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City to get back to the final for the first time in four years.

“If you look at the history of the club, if you look at the experience of the other team, the way Real Madrid celebrate the comebacks, I would say it's Real Madrid [who are favourites] because of experience,” Klopp said at his prematch press conference on Friday.

Klopp's men have already won the League Cup and FA Cup and missed out on the Premier League title by a single point to City.

“We obviously played some really, really good stuff this season. We are not here by surprise or we got a ticket or something like that — we deserved it.

“Being us on the highest level would be cool. If we could do that then we are a really uncomfortable opponent.

“We can talk about what Real Madrid achieved in the past and this season, how good their players are, we probably could write a book together now about this team. But we are good as well and that's what we want to show.”

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said his team are close to achieving “the maximum” — Spanish and European double

Ancelotti has made history as the only manager to reach a fifth Champions League final, which seemed unlikely when he was in charge of struggling Everton in the Premier League last season.

“This year feels like a long time, it gives me vertigo thinking about being in this final,” said Ancelotti in a press conference on Friday.

“But I take it in my stride because it's a success for us. We know the history of this club and to get here is very important, it has been a very good season for us.

“We are very close to achieving the maximum and we will try. This team manages these types of games well. The veterans help the youngsters to play in an atmosphere of calm, enthusiasm and confidence.”

Ancelotti won Real's long-awaited 10th European Cup in his debut season during his first stint in charge at the Bernabeu in 2014.

Updated: May 28, 2022, 4:01 AM