Liverpool can cancel out the advantage of Real Madrid's Champions League experience by replicating the performance levels that have taken them into Saturday's final in Kiev.
That was the message from Jürgen Klopp on Monday as the manager looked ahead to the showpiece fixture during a press conference at Anfield.
Real’s recent record in the competition is almost impeccable. Zinedine Zidane’s team are in their fourth final in five years after lifting the trophy in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
It’s a period of achievement that demands respect, and Klopp is no different, but the boss sees attributes in his side that can equalise the know-how of the Spaniards.
“They are more experienced, it’s a fact. If there would be an experience market, they should sell it because they would be even more rich than they are already,” said Klopp.
“Experience is very important in life but not the only important thing in life. There are a few other things, especially in football. I know that. It’s an advantage to be more experienced but you can level it with desire, with readiness, with attitude, with work-rate. You can level it. That’s what I love in football.
“We have our own experience; not that positive an experience that we won the last two finals but we made our own experience. That’s good as well.
“We are not as long together with this group as Real Madrid because they not only won the last two, they played these finals pretty much with the same team all the time. That is very special. So as a group they are very strong. That’s all a fact.
“But it’s still football and we have a chance. That’s why I think: let’s give it a try. Let’s go there and try to perform on a level which maybe people would say is not possible for us, but it is possible. That’s exactly what we should do.
“All the things we’ll need in the game we did already plenty of times during the Champions League campaign. Now we have to do it again against a really strong team.”
Real wrapped up their La Liga campaign with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal on Saturday night in which they let slip a two-goal advantage from the first half.
Klopp won’t be lulled into a false sense of security by that result, though, and the German believes the incredible opportunity in front of them is all his team needs in any case.
“I saw the game against Villarreal and I saw the reaction of the international press,” he continued.
“But the first half was really impressive, to be honest. It looked like they could do whatever they want and that’s against Villarreal, who are not a bad side.
“Yes, in the second half they closed the game a little bit too early – in their situation I can understand that – and so Villarreal came up. But it showed their whole quality.
“The first XI is strong and nobody knows exactly if Benzema will start, or Vazquez, or Asensio, all these different players. It’s a really good football team but that’s how it should be. In a final, you should face a really good football team.
“The good news is that we are a really good football team as well, and we are full of desire. We really work for our dreams, big dreams, and we hope we can show that. If we can show that, we have a chance and that’s enough.”