Liverpool once again begin the defence of their Champions League crown as they prepare to face off against La Liga giants Atletico Madrid in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Tuesday night – and former club icon Luis Garcia is torn between loyalties.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 25: Luis Garcia of Liverpool celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Barclays Premiership match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on September 25, 2004 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp’s European champions will make their long-awaited return to the Spanish capital following their triumph in the final of the competition back in June 2019.

The German boss will come up against Tuesday’s managerial counterpart Diego Simeone for the first time in his professional career with the German manager still unbeaten in all of his 10 two-legged European knockout ties since his Anfield arrival.

The Reds are aiming for a third consecutive UCL final in Istanbul come May as the Premier League champions-elect have their sights set on a domestic and European treble.

Liverpool’s 2005 Champions League forward Garcia is amongst many who are excited for the anticipated last-16 clash in the Spaniard’s home city.

 

The former Spain international clocked up 121 appearances – scoring 30 goals – for the Reds during a three-year spell with the club and Garcia played a vital role in Liverpool’s route to the 2005 final in Istanbul (the host of the 2020 final) where they overcame AC Milan in arguably the competitions greatest ever finale.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – MAY 26: The players of Liverpool (L-R) Vladimir Smicer, Milan Baros, Xabi Alonso, John Arne-Riise, Stephen Gerrard and Luis Garciapose pose with the European Champions League Trophy one day after winning the European Champions League final against AC Milan on May 26, 2005 in Istanbul, Turkey. Liverpool defeated AC Milan 3-2 on penalties after the match finished 3-3 at the end of extra time. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Garcia also made 104 appearances for Atletico following two separate spells with the 2014 and 2016 European Cup finalists and posted on Instagram wishing good fortune to both of his former teams.

He said: “Match Day !! Two of my former clubs, face each other on the Champions League round of 16. Liverpool on an amazing season so far and Atletico trying to find its best. Tough game for both!!”

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