Mo Salah Seeking Vengeance a Dominant UCL Final Storyline

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Saturday brings the Champions League Final, and it’s a match-up of two of the most successful sides in UCL history, with Real Madrid having won a record 13 European Cups, and Liverpool FC joint-third in the all-time rankings with six. It’s a clash between the La Liga champions and a Liverpool team who missed out on the Premier League title by just one point on the final day of the season.

And for Liverpool winger Mo Salah, it takes on an added level of significance. When these two teams met in the 2018 edition of the final, his night ended early as Madrid central defender Sergio Ramos made a very aggressive challenge and injured him. Ramos injured Salah so badly that the Egyptian magician wasn’t fully himself for the World Cup that summer, and he wasn’t even ready to play for his national team at the start of the tournament.

UEFA Champions League Final FYIs

TV/Streaming: CBS Sports’ coverage kicks off on Saturday, May 28 (1:30 PM, ET)

Broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and streaming live on Paramount+. 

Liverpool-Real Madrid kicks off at 3:00 PM, ET.

Team News:  Real Madrid   Liverpool

Starting XI Predictions:  Real Madrid   Liverpool

After Extra Time Podcast:   Apple   Spotify

Result Probability: Real Madrid 29%  Liverpool 45%  Draw 26%

Odds: Real Madrid +230  Liverpool +115   Draw +260

salah egypt

So as you might expect, this rematch is personal for him.

“I want to play Madrid, I have to be honest,” Salah told BT Sport back on May 3, when asked whom he would rather see in the UCL Final, Madrid or Manchester City.

“City are a really tough team, we played against them a few times this season, but I think if you ask me personally, I would prefer Madrid. Because we lost in the final against them, I want to play against them, and hopefully win against them.”

These remarks didn’t sit well will Madrid defender Fede Valverde, who responded to these remarks in an interview with Spain’s ‘Club del Deportista’ magazine.

Posted by Marca on Monday, Valverde said that Salah just gave his side some bulletin board material for this match.

“Obviously they’re words that everyone can take however they want,” Valverde commented.

“I’m his opponent and it’s like disrespecting the Real Madrid badge, the players… The only thing we must do is give our best, try to show why we’re in the final and let’s hope we can give another trophy to the fans and to Real Madrid.”

In other words, the war of words is on, and this will be a major storyline as we head into the European finale this weekend. We’ll have much more on this later tonight, as this afternoon brings the UCL Final Press Preview Call with UEFA Champions League Today host Kate Abdo, and analysts Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, Micah Richards and Peter Schmeichel.

We’re sure that at least one of the TV stars will have something to say about this narrative.

For what it is worth, Salah denies that his added motivation stems from that match four years ago. (After all, Ramos is now with Paris Saint-Germain).

uefa champions league

Salah said to Marca:

“That game is in the past, so I don’t think about [what happened with Ramos].

“I’m thinking about the team. Everyone is focused on their team and everyone wants to win… that’s it. Let’s just say that I have special motivation to win the tie and go through to the semi-finals.”

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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