Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has expressed his desire to help the Reds keep a clean sheet against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final. The Frenchman also reserved praise for Los Blancos superstar Karim Benzema.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will lock horns with the La Liga winners in the Champions League final on 28th May. The two teams met on the same occasion in Kyiv in 2018, but will face off in Paris this time around.
Real Madrid have set their eyes on winning the European trophy for the 14th time in their history. Meanwhile, Liverpool have lifted the trophy six times and will be determined to add to it.
Looking ahead to the match, Konate expressed his admiration for Benzema, who he hailed as ‘exceptional’. However, the Liverpool defender is wary of the threat posed by the entire Real Madrid team and is keen to help his side keep them at bay on 28th May. He told French television program Telefoot:
“With the season that Karim [Benzema] is having, it’s exceptional, but in their team, it’s not just him. My goal is that no player from their team scores [in the Champions League final]!”
The two teams locked horns in the Champions League final four years ago. Los Blancos emerged on that occasion, beating Klopp’s side 3-1 in Kyiv.
Liverpool will be keen to settle their score against the Spanish giants when they meet again in Paris. They have already won two trophies this season in the shape of the EFL Cup and the FA Cup.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, have already clinched the La Liga title. They enjoy a 12-point lead at the top of the table, having earned 84 points from 36 matches so far.
Benzema has been Los Blancos’ key player across all competitions this term. He has scored 44 goals and provided 15 assists from 44 appearances for the club so far.
Will Konate start for Liverpool against Real Madrid?
Konate joined the Reds from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig for £36 million last summer. He has since been a regular for the club, making 26 appearances across all competitions so far.
The 22-year-old has started in each of Liverpool’s last four matches in the Champions League. Klopp could thus name him in the starting lineup to face Real Madrid in the final of the competition later this month.
It is worth noting that Konate also played the full 120 minutes in the side’s win against Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday. He featured in the team’s EFL Cup final victory over the Blues in February as well.