Salah’s chance to dispel nightmares of Kyiv
Mohamed Salah has created quite a stir ahead of the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris. The Liverpool forward posted on social media that they have a 'score to settle' after the Spanish champions set up a rematch of their 2018 Champions League final earlier this month.
Salah's urge to settle the score is understandable. The Egyptian's night ended in tears in Kyiv in 2018 when he had to be taken off following a cynical challenge by Sergio Ramos, skipper of Real Madrid at that time, in a final that the Reds eventually lost 3-1.
As he seeks to avenge and banish those unpleasant memories, the 29-year-old footballer has reasons to be confident about keeping his promise this time around. Salah is having his best season in the Champions League since 2018 in terms of goals scored. He has scored eight goals and provided two assists this season so far and has netted a total of 33 goals and accounted for 11 assists in the competition since the 2017/18 season.
Salah's stature to this Liverpool team is well known, but his influence places him alongside some of the best players in the Champions League history. Given his relative obscurity at this level before joining the English club, his transformation is even more remarkable. He will be desperate to add to his goals tally by scoring in another Champions League final after helping his side win the title by scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in 2019.
Salah's remarks, however, have not been taken lightly in Madrid, with Uruguayan midfielder Fede Valverde responding vehemently. Real coach Carlo Ancelotti also revealed that his team would be out to avenge a 41-year-old Champions League final loss to the Reds in Paris.
All these lead us to the final question: Will Liverpool be able to exorcise Kyiv's nightmares, or will Madrid make Salah suffer again?