Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is preparing for a “revenge” mission against Real Madrid when they meet in the Champions League final later this month.
Salah, who was crowned the Football Writers’ Association’s Footballer of the Year on Thursday night, was part of the Liverpool side beaten by Madrid in the 2018 final in Kyiv.
The same two sides will face off in Paris on May 28 after Real’s remarkable comeback victory over Manchester City on Wednesday and Liverpool’s professional job in Villarreal the night before.
Asked if he saw this next meeting as a revenge mission for four years ago, the Egypt forward replied: “Yes, we lost in the final, it was a sad day for all of us and I think it is revenge time.
“I’m so excited, I said before the game that I wanted to play Madrid in the final.
“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 added: “They (Madrid) have more experience than us in terms of history and they know how to play.
“But we have very good players and a very good coach. In my view, we are the best team in Europe, maybe the world, and all we are thinking about is to win.
“When you think about this situation, it is something great – something really amazing to be playing this game. It (avenging Kyiv) is something on our minds. We want to win. We want it more than they do. But let’s see what happens.
“Last time we lost and I had my injury. I believe we can do it now. It was a hard time for me after the injury and a sad situation. It was the worst moment of my career. When we lost I thought we would get the chance to put it right and we did that the next season (winning the Champions League in 2019).”
— Ben Webb (@BenWebbLFC) May 5, 2022
Liverpool could yet end the season with an unprecedented quadruple, sitting a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and facing an FA Cup final against Chelsea having already won the Carabao Cup.
Salah is hoping his FWA award can be the start of a memorable end to the campaign, adding: “It feels great.
“First of all I want to thank everyone who voted for me, of course journalists are a big part of the football family and hopefully we can win some more (trophies) this year.”
Chelsea striker Sam Kerr received the women’s award after a fine season in the Women’s Super League.
Salah and Kerr received their trophies at the Footballer of the Year dinner in London on Thursday.
Salah took 48 per cent of the vote in the men’s category, ahead of Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.
Salah has scored 30 goals for the Reds this season, 22 in the Premier League, as Jurgen Klopp’s side chase further domestic and European success.
The 29-year-old wins the FWA award, which has been presented since 1948, for the second time having also been named the 2018 Footballer of the Year.
The Women’s Footballer of the Year vote was open to the full FWA membership for the first time, with the award, which was introduced from 2018, having previously been decided by an expert panel.
Australian striker Kerr, who has scored 18 goals in the Women’s Super League to help Chelsea top the table, claimed 40 per cent of the vote, with Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema in second place and Lauren Hemp of Manchester City placing third.
The Blues are a point ahead of Arsenal heading into the final WSL match of the season and could clinch the title against Manchester United on Sunday.
Comparing this season to previous years, Kerr said: “I think it’s the same. I think every year I strive to be the best player I can be and I think as I get older I appreciate it more.
“It still is enjoyable, but you can’t really compare (seasons).”
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