Casemiro responds to Salah’s hopes for a Liverpool-Real Madrid rematch
Mohamed Salah was in no doubt about which team he would Liverpool to meet in the Champions League final and Real Madrid’s Casemiro says he can understand why.
Mohamed Salah was one of the key figures the last time Real Madrid and Liverpool met in a Champions League final, but not for the right reasons. The final, held in Kyiv on 26 May 2018, came at the end of the most productive season yet for the Egyptians. He ended the campaign on 44 goals - including five in the Champions League and Reds fans were relishing the thought of Salah making short work of Real Madrid’s defence. It ended the other way around... Salah was tugged to the ground by Sergio Ramos, forcing the Egyptian to quit the pitch on with a dislocated shoulder. Salah’s Champions League final was over after just 25 minutes.
As far as Liverpool supporters are concerned, Ramos will forever be viewed as a persona non grata for what he did to Salah in Kyiv. But Salah recovered, just in time to star for his country at that year’s World Cup finals, and has since gone on to break several club goal-scoring records at Anfield. As soon as, Jurgen Klopp’s troops booked their place in this year’s Champions League final, there was no doubt who Salah would prefer to face, given the choice between Real Madrid and Manchester City. He told BT Sport’s Rio Ferdinand, ”I want to play Madrid, but I have to be honest, City is a really tough team - we’ve played against them a few times this season. But if you asked me personally, I would say Madrid - because we lost in the final to them, so I want to play against them, and hopefully win it”.
Luckily for Mo, Real Madrid made it through their semi-final and will face Liverpool at Stade de France in Paris on 28 May. As for Ramos, he will be Paris too but not involved in the final - he left Real Madrid at the end of his contract last year to join PSG as a free agent.
Salah will not face Ramos but will have to deal with Casemiro, arguably the most ‘uncompromising’ player in Madrid’s ranks. The Brazilian midfielder was asked about Salah’s wishes for a rematch with Madrid after the City game. Here’s what he said, “Everyone is free to choose who they’d like to play. It’s obvious that, because he was injured in the last final, now he has the chance to get his revenge. But every game is different. It’s a final and we have to respect Liverpool, it’s going to be a very difficult game”.