Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has sent a resounding message to current Champions League holders Liverpool ahead of the draw for the knockout stages of the competition on Monday.
Both teams have secured their passage to the last-16 after Real Madrid beat Club Brugge 3-1 to finish second in Group A whilst European champions Liverpool won at Salzburg to win Group E.
Having finished behind PSG in their group, Madrid will go into Monday’s draw as second seeds meaning there could be a repeat of the 2018 Champions League final.
Six-time holders Liverpool are looking to make it three consecutive Champions Leauge finals this season. The two European heavyweights met in the final in Kiev two years ago when Zidane’s side made it 13 triumphs in the competition following a 3-1 victory against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
Asked about Monday’s draw, following their victory in Belgium, Zidane joked that his team would once again do a job on Liverpool should the two lock horns again in the new year.
“If we play Liverpool, we will eliminate them,” Zidane said in his post-match press conference. “We can’t do anything about the draw.”
The World Cup-winning midfielder is understandably beaming with confidence in the competition he has won in each of his competitive seasons as manager. The Frenchman has never been eliminated from the competition since he took up his post as Real Madrid head coach.
However, the comments will nevertheless be a rallying cry for Liverpool supporters. The Reds are currently in the form of their lives comfortably sitting top of the Premier League whilst comfortably progressing to the knockout stages for a third consecutive season.
Also, Klopp has never lost a two-legged tie in Europe since his appointment in 2015 as Liverpool secured their passage to the 2016 Europa League final and the 2018 and 2019 Champions League final.
Liverpool will be desperate to avenge their heartbreak from the final 2018 that saw Mohamed Salah withdrawn early from a shoulder injury after Madrid captain Sergio Ramos cynically brought down the Egyptian.