Mohamed Salah is hungry for revenge against Real Madrid.
The Liverpool star made it crystal-clear after winning the FWA Footballer of the Year award that he was pumped up by the prospect of doing battle with Los Blancos once again in a Champions League final.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Salah said when asked if Liverpool wanted revenge: “Yeah. It’s revenge time. They beat us in the final last time. It was a very sad day for all of us, so yeah.”
Salah hungry for revenge
Salah’s hunger for revenge is twofold because not only did Real exact defeat on the Reds during the 2018 final, but the Egyptian himself was forced off in the first-half after a challenge from Sergio Ramos.
And given the Real legend’s unabashed love for the dark arts of football, speculation was rife that he had deliberately injured Salah – who scored 44 goals that year – to take him out of the game.
Make of that what you will, but the moral of the story is that Liverpool fans grew quite the dislike for Ramos in light of him removing their star player from the big game in Kyiv.
And although Salah won’t be able to exact revenge on Ramos himself this summer due to his Paris Saint-Germain transfer, the stage is still set for him to make it second time lucky against Los Blancos.
Liverpool vs Tottenham Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
When Lovren got revenge on Ramos
Besides, in one respect, Salah needn’t worry about avenging Ramos’ controversial tackle because there’s good reason to think that Dejan Lovren did the job for him four years ago.
That’s because the former Liverpool defender – who is good friends with Salah – threw an elbow at Ramos during Croatia’s 3-2 UEFA Nation’s League win over Spain in 2018.
Lovren subsequently received a one-match ban for his actions and according to Goal, even wrote on Instagram after the game: “I elbowed him good. Haha! 3-2! Go ahead and talk now buddy. Buddy!”
However, it wasn’t until 2020 that the Croatian confirmed that his actions were deliberate and that he had indeed sought revenge against Ramos for having injured his pal in the Champions League final.
Lovren owns up to his actions
“Luka Modric tried to reduce the tension between me and Ramos, and we were facing Spain together with the Croatian national team, and I deliberately hit him with my elbows and told him that we have drawn now.
“I respect Ramos as a player and what he does for his team. He has won a lot of titles, but on the other hand, he does some behaviour that I do not like and harm the players.
“I do not want to make a big story, but I think that what Ramos did was intentional to injure my friend, so it was time to pay for what he has done.
“We were playing much better than Real Madrid before Salah was injured in the Champions League final. His exit was a big blow for us, after his exit, they began to dominate the match.”
🎙| Lovren" “If I deliberately hit Ramos for injuring Salah? Possible. Luka [Modrić] tried to lower the tension between Ramos and me when we were playing against Spain. I deliberately hit him with my elbow and said, 'Now we're tied'."🇭🇷🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/m4OwEJZcqN— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) February 11, 2021
Dejan Lovren:— Anything Liverpool (@AnythingLFC_) August 20, 2020
“Yes, I deliberately hit Ramos with my elbow during the Spain and Croatia match. He deliberately injured my friend Salah in the Champions League final, so he had to pay the price for what he did.” #Liverpoolfc pic.twitter.com/sv3NsgYUds
Wowsers. As you do.
Liverpool vs Real Madrid round two
It couldn’t have been any clearer that Lovren was out for revenge when he lined up against Ramos, even stomaching a one-match ban in order to get his own back for a tackle that still divides opinion today.
But for now, it’s all aboard for Paris with Liverpool potentially looking to complete an unprecedented quadruple by overcoming Real and exorcising the demons of four years ago.
And frankly, if Salah plays anywhere near as well as he has done all season long in the final, then Ramos might be secretly glad that he left Real otherwise he could have been handed a dish best served cold.