(Reuters) – Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah says his side will miss the lack of supporters more than Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final tie, adding he no longer bears a grudge against Sergio Ramos for injuring him in the 2018 final.
Liverpool and Real have both experienced poor home results since coronavirus restrictions prevented fans from attending matches. But the Reds’ decline has been the most remarkable, losing their last six games at Anfield in their worst ever run of home results.
“We lose so much without our fans, I think we are the team that suffers the most without its supporters,” Salah told Spanish newspaper Marca ahead of his side’s first leg at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium on April 6.
Salah will have bad memories of his last meeting with Real Madrid at the Champions League final in Kiev, when he injured his shoulder in a clash with Ramos in the 3-1 defeat, the injury also stunting his World Cup campaign with Egypt.
But he said he did not see the coming match as a chance for revenge.
“Let’s say I have a special desire to win the game and to qualify for the semi-final, whatever happens now is not going to change the result of Kiev. It’s over,” he said.
Salah has scored 119 goals in four seasons for Liverpool but recognised he was not always so prolific and gave words of courage to Vinicius Jr, one of Real’s most exciting talents but who has had trouble finishing chances.
“They should not worry about him. I was not scoring much, I was not born with the goal,” Salah added, highlighting the influence of Luciano Spalletti, his coach at AS Roma, in his own transformation into one of the world’s top strikers.
“Almost every day after training, he called me and I’d go to a field with him alone and just do finishing, finishing, finishing,” he said.
“I also built a field in the garden my house and just did finishing. Vinicius just needs to keep working and it will come. He just needs to practice a lot and it will come naturally.”
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)