InterviewThiago Alcantara motivated by personal heartache of last Wembley final
Thiago Alcantara is hoping for better personal fortune this time around when Liverpool play in the Emirates FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday.
The midfielder was cruelly denied the chance to represent the Reds in the Carabao Cup success over Chelsea in February after picking up a hamstring injury in the warm-up for the game.
The Blues, again, stand in the way of Jürgen Klopp's men securing their second trophy of the 2021-22 campaign.
Explaining the tears of February's trip to Wembley, Thiago told Liverpoolfc.com: "It came to my mind that the last season was very hard for myself to try to be here and not having the fans in the stadium, not having this fun that this sport gives to you.
"We fought a lot to arrive in that moment, that you can play in a final, and then suddenly because I had a bad thing, a bad neck problem and it caused just like a chain of movement that in the end caused me an injury in the hammy.
"It's a moment where you are just frustrated. You just calm down a bit, you try to be cold enough to face the final. It was as it was.
"We won it and, for sure, it's bittersweet that you don't play that game, but you're happy for the team.
"Lifting a trophy is a special moment but it was more for the frustrating situation that everybody had the last few years.
"It was because of what we have been through and was a kind of celebration of overcoming that situation."
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The FA Cup is one trophy absent from Thiago's incredibly decorated honours list.
However, the motivation is solely on lifting another piece of silverware and creating more history with this Liverpool side.
The Spain international said: "We came from other countries – not just me but other players – and just met this amazing competition, the oldest in the world.
"We are really excited to play – not just the competition itself but a final. We're ready for it.
"It doesn't matter if we didn't win [it] before or for a long time. It's just about a trophy that we can win and we add in our backpack this new challenge. We're looking forward to it.
"Wembley is an amazing stadium. It's special itself but then you know that Wembley is used for special moments. There's different context and we're ready to go to London."
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The Reds' two meetings with Chelsea in the Premier League this season were entertaining draws.
Nothing could separate the two teams in the League Cup final, either, after 120 minutes of end-to-end action, before an 11-10 victory in a penalty shootout.
On approaching a fourth encounter with Thomas Tuchel's team, Thiago insisted: "It's a new game and we will prepare it as it must be prepared, nothing else.
"[We] understand that we are playing against one of the best teams in the world and we know it will be tight, we know it's always difficult.
"They want to take something that we want to take as well. It's a continuous fight with this kind of team. The best team will win."