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Read Jürgen Klopp’s programme notes for tonight’s Champions League tie against Real Madrid in full.



Read Jürgen Klopp’s full schedule for tonight’s Champions League match against Real Madrid.

If anyone were to ask me a landmark for Anfield and what makes it so special, what happened here last Monday night will be at the top of my list.

Not because it was the most decisive result, the one that brings us closer to success or even the best atmosphere we’ve ever experienced, but because it showed everything this club stands for. We need it again tonight.

At the end of the Merseyside derby it would have been easy to forget how we got there. To achieve a positive result, we absolutely had to stick together on and off the pitch.

This is exactly what happened. No negativity based on previous results, just our best face. I have said many times that how we come out of a tough time will be determined by how we behave during that time and this was the best example of how we can get through it together.

However, Real Madrid won’t be interested in helping us on this path. They have their own goals for this season and given their history, one of them will no doubt do everything in their power to win the Champions League.

Like us, this is a competition that means incredibly much to them and I couldn’t be more aware that Carlo Ancelotti, his staff, players and everyone associated with Real will come to Liverpool with the expectation that theirs will be theirs European way goes even further.

For the avoidance of doubt, I say this out of absolute respect. Part of Real’s greatness comes from the confidence they have in themselves. It’s in their DNA and one of the reasons they’ve won 14 European Cups. Instead of being weighed down by their history, they are strengthened by it. So I welcome Carlo and his staff as rivals in this match, but also with the utmost respect for what they have done and are still doing.

The good thing is that as much as people say we couldn’t have wished for a stronger opponent, I’m sure we wouldn’t have been the team at the top of everyone’s list when the draw for the round of 16 was made.

Again, the past, both recent and more distant, helps us to do this. The name ‘Liverpool’ means something in Europe and the standard that has been set over the years is one that we must continue to live up to. Sure, I’d love nothing more than if we had a few more trophies to our credit, but the trips we’ve taken help us as much as any trophies we’ve won.

The experiences that have brought us together, the difficult times we have gone through, the special moments we have shared and everything about being a team and a club moving in the same direction have made us who we are. We must never lose sight of it, even at our lowest points.

Real gives us another point of reference for who we are. In 2018 we lost to them in the final in Kyiv and nobody wants me to tell them how disappointing it was. But we took that experience and used it with everything we had and 12 months later we were the ones celebrating.

The 2018 final was in many ways the mother of the 2019 final and the lesson we can take from that now is that we can and should always capitalize on setbacks as best we can.

The final in Paris last season will be remembered by our fans for worse reasons than anything on the pitch, but the result of the match was not what we wanted either.

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But if I were to spot a glimmer of light in the whole experience, it would be that the story didn’t end there. There is always another season, another game, another chance. It is our responsibility to make the most of this opportunity knowing that Anfield will be with us this time.

Hopefully this is an occasion we can remember for all the right reasons. Everything we get will have to be earned, because that’s how it should be in this competition.

However, we already know this, it is our job to use this and all other knowledge to give us the best possible chance. The starting point is to be together, just like we were last Monday.