Thiago Alcantara has said that Liverpool will go into their Champions League last-eight tie with Real Madrid with immesne respect for their opponents.
Last week’s draw paired the Premier League and La Liga champions in a repeat of the 2018 final.
On that occasion, it was Los Blancos that came out on top, on a hugely controversial evening in Kiev.
Mohamed Salah was injured in the opening exchanges of the game, with Sergio Ramos appearing to throw him to the ground.
It was also a game remembered for two Loris Karius howlers and a Gareth Bale stunner as the Spaniards ran out 3-1 winners.
And ahead of the resumption of their rivalries, former Barcelona midfielder Thiago has admitted the entire squad have the utmost respect for their upcoming opponents.
Speaking to AS, Thiago said: “Our reaction was that we have complete respect for Real Madrid, the respect that Champions League quarter-final opponents are obviously due. And we can’t wait for the games to come.
“It’s a wonderful competition and a tie against a fantastic side. We’ll go into it with the respect for Madrid that they deserve.”
Jurgen Klopp suggested that the opportunity to avenge that painful defeat was a “cool” opportunity for his side.
“It’s exciting, exciting. It’s obviously a tough draw but I am fine with it because if you look at all the other teams you think, ‘Oh my god’ because they are all strong and all have quality, that’s clear. I am really looking forward to the games,” he told the club’s official site.
“It’s only just over two years ago that we faced them and it was a tough night for us, so to get the chance to play them again is cool.”
Thiago meanwhile, has admitted that had the situation been different, he could have been playing in La Liga.
While refusing to comment specifically on a move to Real, he did claim that there was an offer from the Spanish top-flight, although Liverpool was always his preferred option.
“It was a possibility, but at the end of the day I felt that if I left Bayern it had to be to experience the Premier League, a really competitive league,” he explained.
“When I got the call from the coach and the club, it was a really easy decision to make. It was a tough decision to leave Bayern, though. In the end it happened and I’m really happy.”
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