Mohamed Salah spoke with refreshing honesty and humility to BT Sport after helping Liverpool come back from two goals down to overcome Villarreal in Spain on a dramatic night in Spain. The Reds eventually won the tie 2-5 on aggregate and secured their place in the tenth European Cup final in the club’s history, but had to work for it as the first-leg lead was wiped out in the first half following a quick start by Emery’s side.
The Egyptian was joined by Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand and former Liverpool stars Michael Owen and Peter Crouch on the sidelines following the game.
Liverpool’s top scorer had his brain picked by pundits on several matters, including how Jurgen Klopp’s halftime instructions helped turned the game around. “I think it was tough in the first half then we went into the dressing room and then the gaffer started talking, and the players started talking to each other as well. I think it shows character and personality in the dressing room. It shows that we are a top team and at a top level…which is why we could strike back after being down 2-0 in the first half.” explained the 29-year-old.
In even better insight, the two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner revealed that his personal target coming into the current season was to score 40 goals and get 10-15 assists. Salah leads the golden boot race with 22 goals and remarkably also the Playmaker of the Season award, with 13 assists, one ahead of teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Interestingly, when asked about at what point he thought that the quadruple could actually be a possibility, the Egyptian picked out Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City. “After we beat City in the semi-final of the cup (FA Cup) but i think in the Champions League from the beginning after the group stage we very playing unbelievable games, we had a really tough group and we beat everybody..at this time i said we can win the Champions League this year.” said Salah.
Liverpool’s win over Villarreal naturally means the Reds would tune into Wednesday’s clash between Real Madrid and Man City with extra interest and when Rio Ferdinand asked the winger whether he had a preference, Salah was not in two minds: “Yeah. I wanna play Madrid, but i have to be honest City is a really tough team, we played against them a few times this season, but i think if you asked me personally i would say Madrid. We lost in the final against them so i want to play against them and hopefully win it”.
Salah left the 2017-18 final against Real Madrid with injury and the Reds collapsed from thereon. Two howlers from Karius and a Gareth Bale acrobatic effort capped off a night to forget for the men from Merseyside. But, Salah and Co. would be looking to set things right this time round if Real Madrid are able to come back from the 4-3 deficit against Guardiola’s side.