Sadio Mane makes bold claim to warn Real Madrid over Champions League final

Sadio Mane was one of the stars of Liverpool's enthralling 7-6 aggregate win over Roma in the Champions League semis.
Updated 04 May 2018
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Sadio Mane makes bold claim to warn Real Madrid over Champions League final

  • Liverpool in bullish mood after beating Roma to make the Champions League final.
  • Mane claims Reds are so confident they think they can beat any team, not least Real Madrid.

Liverpool feel they can beat any team in the world at the moment and will play without fear in the Champions League final against 12-times winners Real Madrid later this month, winger Sadio Mane has warned.
The Spanish giants are chasing their third European title in four years, but Mane said Liverpool, who have scored a mammoth 40 goals in this year’s competition, were charged with confidence heading into the finale in Kiev on May 26, and were sure they will be the ones lifting the famous trophy.
“We honestly believe we can beat them,” the 26-year-old Senegalese striker said.
“I can say at this moment we do have a lot of respect for Madrid, they are one of the best teams in the world, but we are Liverpool — we are strong and we can beat any team in the world.
“We are going to go there and fight for the fans, for the club, fight without fear and win the final. We have the players. We can score goals, we have shown that and there is nothing to be afraid of for us.”
The Reds are, perhaps, surprise finalists. They were not one of the favorites at the start of the season and their defence is far from watertight. This campaign, however, has gone their way with sides such as Manchester City and Barcelona — both easy winners of their domestic leagues — falling by the wayside in the last eight. Added to that, this has seemingly been the season for high-scoring matches, meaning the dodgy defence has been more than negated by the free-scoring exploits of the exciting forward line of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.
The Merseyside club won the
European Cup four times in their heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, but their memorable Champions League triumph over AC Milan in 2005 bucked a trend of underperformance by the Reds at the very highest level over the past couple of decades.
Dejan Lovren has called on his teammates to beat Real Madrid and get their hands on the trophy, if for no other better reason than to make sure Klopp’s efforts at Anfield get the reward he feels they deserve.
The Liverpool defender hailed his German boss for transforming the club and claims it is only right that Klopp lands his first piece of silverware as Reds boss.
Klopp’s side lost the final of the League Cup and Europa League in 2016, but Lovren reckons the manager has already forged a winning mentality at the club.
“He has changed many things in the club, not just the players but things around the club — people, he has changed the mentality, how we think,” the Croatian said.
“He deserves this.
“It is not accidental that he already reached the final of the Champions League in 2013 with Borussia Dortmund. He has given the club its pride back. Everyone should be proud that we have a manager like him.”
Real Madrid have been installed as slight favorites, and are bidding to become the first club to win three Champions League titles since Bayern Munich in 1976.


LIVE: Brazil v. Argentina in Saudi Arabia

Updated 23 min ago
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LIVE: Brazil v. Argentina in Saudi Arabia

90+2 MINUTES: GOAL - BRAZIL 1 ARGENTINA 0 - Miranda heads in ahead of Sergio Romero in the Argentina goal and gives Brazil a late, late winner! Brazil will win the Superclasico Cup here in Jeddah.

85 MINUTES: The game has definitely dropped in intensity, with both teams seem content for this to go beyond 90 minutes. We're in for a tense last few minutes...

71 MINUTES: CLOSE - Arthur has just had the best chace of the game, his powerful volley from a Neymar cross was directed under the crossbar with incredible power, but Sergio Romero in the Argentina goal makes an astonishing save. Definitely saw it late - stunner.

67 MINUTES: The attendance tonight looks very healthy, and some of the fans have even been letting off flares. Gives the stadium a bit of a South American feel, which will please the Brazilian and Argentine players.

The attendance tonight looks very healthy, and some of the fans have even been letting off flares. Gives the stadium a bit of a South American feel, which will please the Brazilian and Argentine players. (Reuters)

65 MINUTES: We've had a few substitutions here in Jeddah, with Dybala going off and Lautaro Martinez coming on for Argentina, with Richarlison replacing Gabriel Jesus for Brazil. Meanwhile, Neymar gets a yellow card - it matches his ridiculous haircut.

50 MINUTES: We're back out for the second half and we've got a stoppage in play here for a Danilo Silva injury, but Argentina have come out much better in this second half creating two decent chances and forcing a corner. Much better from the Argentines.

HALFTIME: BRAZIL 0 - ARGENTINA 0 - Brazil have forced more of the game, but both teams have been cagey in this first half. Let's hope they step it up in the second half to give the big crowd in attendance something to cheer about.

Neymar warming up in Jeddah before the Brazil v. Argentina clash. (AFP)

43 MINUTES: Brazil win a free kick in a very promising situation, and it looks perfect for a Neymar special. But the oddly-coiffeured Brazilian steps up and sends the free kick straight into the wall. A wasted opportunity.

35 MINUTES: A lull in the action, but the fans are making themselves heard, and the ground appears to be fully behind the Samba boys.

The fans are making themselves heard, and the ground appears to be fully behind the Samba boys. (Reuters)

31 MINUTES: CLOSE - Argentina's Paulo Dybala hits the ball in from a mid-range free kick, but the effort goes just wide of the right post.

29 MINUTES: HOW HAS HE NOT SCORED? Miranda gathers a nice lofted pass deep inside the Argentina box and attempts to put the ball low into the middle of the goal, but somehow his shot is kept out by a host of defending players.

20 MINUTES: There's a glimpse of the rivalry between these two nations, Brazil's Danilo commits a rough challenge and it's a free kick to Argentina. No love lost here.

15 MINUTES: Brazil are having the better of this game, with nearly two-thirds of possession and are looking the more dangerous here in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia is playing host to two giants of football, Argentina and Brazil on Tuesday evening. (Reuters)

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is playing host to two giants of football, Argentina and Brazil on Tuesday evening. 

Argentina thumped a hapless Iraq 4-0 with a dominant display as Lautaro Martinez on Friday, Roberto Pereyra, German Pezzella and Franco Cervi all beat Iraqi goalkeeper Jalal Hassan to ensure a resounding victory. While Brazil had a comfortable 2-0 victory over Saudi Arabia last week.

Fans make a stunning tifo at the Jeddah stadium containing the Brazilian and Argentinian flags ahead of their clash in Saudi Arabia. (General Sports Authority)