A player who does not consider himself a striker, Mohamed Salah is the envy of many forwards due to his record of scoring goals for Liverpool.
Salah said, “I don’t play No. I play on the wing.” “It’s completely different when you play as a winger.”
And yet the Egyptian has scored 31 goals in 50 games this season and entered the Champions League final on Sunday (5am AEST) as the leading forward in English football.
An impressive goal comeback but a fact has been accepted by No. 9 that Real Madrid will turn for a goal at the de France. Karim Benzema has scored 44 goals in just 45 club games.
The showpiece climax of the European club season can be well determined by who is less tired after a two year period of coronavirus-affected schedule with a few significant breaks.
Concerns about the workload on the players are such that when the teams flew to Paris, members of the World Players’ Union were meeting in the French capital to discuss the burnout of the biggest stars.
Jonas Bear-Hoffmann, general secretary of FIFPro, said: “This is clearly the time of year when the players are really focused on winning.” “I am sure they will have all the strength to play a good match on Saturday (Paris time) but they are going to pay for it in the end. It is a real concern for us at the moment, now the risk of injury, but also in the long run.”
Benzema, 34, five years older than Salah, has played for Madrid and France only 52 times since August.
Adding to their African Cup of Nations trip in January, Salah and Senegal forward Sadio mean both are ready to play their 70th game of the season.
Liverpool have played every possible game this season and everyone is at risk. The Premier League is down – Manchester City have won the title by one point – and Liverpool have won the FA Cup the previous weekend and the League Cup in February.
A month ago, Madrid had the luxury of winning the Spanish League with four games left. Carlo Ancelotti’s hopes of winning the domestic cup were dashed when he lost in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey in February.
“I don’t think we’ll fight. We’ve been preparing for the whole week,” said Liverpool defender Andy Robertson. “They had a little more relaxed preparation. They wrapped up the league … and they were able to relax and not play too many games at maximum speed. We wanted to fight for everything and know what it would do to our bodies.”
Jর্গrgen Klopp is still chasing treble with Liverpool. Publicly, at least, Ancelotti is not talking about trying to exploit any fatigue in the Liverpool squad.
“If we talk about a physical perspective, we are playing against a team that is one of the best in the world in that respect,” Ancelotti said. “Add that huge personal quality, a strong attack and good organization. I don’t think the physical aspect of things will determine the outcome, it will be important but there are many other factors to evaluate.”
Such as the recovery power of Madrid.
A record 13-time European champions were eliminated in the Round of 16 before Benzema’s two of 15 continental goals this season turned into a game against Paris Saint-Germain. It took 10 minutes to level the score against Chelsea in the quarter-finals before beating the defending champions in extra time. Rodrigo made another incredible comeback with two goals in the 90th minute as Madrid reached the semi-finals against Manchester City.
It made Liverpool’s path through the knockout stages relatively smooth, surpassing Inter Milan, Benfica and Villarreal for a reunion with Madrid after their defeat in the 2018 final.
Salah was injured in the first half and was forced to return to the field. When he was at the top of his scoring ability, who was the man of the match in Kiev?
Gareth Bale’s goal helped Madrid win the last European Cup with two memorable strikes, but his chances of playing are slim. The forward is a player who can be frustrated by his limited playing time instead of the extra work pressure last season. The most expensive player in the world, signed by Madrid in 2013, Bell has played only 13 times this season – six of them for Wales – after being left out in the cold after the end of Madrid’s contract.
For the third time in a row, UEFA has been forced to relocate to the final. This time St. Petersburg hosting was taken away not because of the epidemic but because of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
It was a return to Paris for Liverpool where they lost to Madrid in the 1981 final when it was the only European Cup.
The teams reunite at the end of the 30th season of the Champions League – a competition Madrid wanted to destroy a year ago after splitting to form a Super League.
Liverpool quickly withdrew from the uprising, while Madrid still dreamed of seceding from UEFA.
This could lead to an awkward conversation when Madrid president Florentino Perez and UEFA opponent Alexander Ceferin meet at the stadium.
Conversations, though, many stars would expect are about reducing the burden on players. Even those players try to lift another trophy and crown the season.