Liverpool 'ready to fight' Real Madrid, says Dejan Lovren

Dejan Lovren will be faced with one of the toughest tasks in football on Saturday.In his first ...

Posted: May 24, 2018 1:04 PM
Updated: May 24, 2018 1:04 PM

Dejan Lovren will be faced with one of the toughest tasks in football on Saturday.

In his first Champions League final, the Liverpool defender will not only have to quell Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the greatest players in history, but also keep Real Madrid's myriad of fearsome attacking threats quiet.

Real Madrid take on Liverpool in Champions League final

Final takes place in Kiev on May 16

Real aiming to win third title on the trot

The Croatian has enjoyed an upturn in form this season after well-documented inconsistency since his -20 million ($26m) arrival in 2014.

And after helping Liverpool reach the final and finish fourth in the English Premier League, the 28-year-old tells CNN Sport he will be just as confident as Ronaldo when the pair go head-to-head at Kiev's Olimpiyskiy Stadium.

"He's a fantastic player. He's showed already over 12 to 15 seasons that every year he can score," Lovren says of Ronaldo, winner of five prestigious Ballon d'Or awards.

"Even if he has a bad season he will score at least 30 goals.

"It will be quite difficult, of course, a big challenge. But I've been working so hard in my life to reach the final of the Champions League and I play week in, week out against the best Premier League strikers in England so I'm ready for that.

"We'll defend like a team. In some moments I will be in situations one against one, but I also have my confidence like he has."

Who do you think will win the Champions League final? Have your say on our Facebook page.

Experience vs. youth

The central defender, whose partnership with January signing Virgil van Djik has helped stabilize Liverpool's rearguard, says he and his teammates are "ready to fight" defending champions Real, the most successful team in the competition's history.

Last year Real became the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles and, should they win on Saturday, the Spaniards will become the first team to claim three successive European Cup crowns twice.

In Ronaldo, Real have a player who has scored in every Champions League game he has featured this season.

The Portugal captain has found the net 25 times in his last 17 Champions League matches and is the only Real player to have played every minute for the La Liga side in this season's tournament.

"When you want to play in the final of the Champions League then of course you will expect to face one of the best teams in the world," added Lovren, who is set to feature for Croatia at this summer's World Cup in Russia.

"Real Madrid are not without reason three times in the final in a row and we need to respect that.

"They have confidence, experience and they know how to play these finals. From our team, for every player it will be our first final, but we are healthy, we are young, and we are ready to fight."

The contrast in experience is stark. Sergio Ramos, Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo and Isco could all appear in their fourth Champions League final for Real, while no-one in Liverpool's squad has played in a Champions League final.

READ: Champions League final too costly for fans

READ: How Man City dominated English football

READ: The greatest Champions League finals

'Anything is possible'

Liverpool last featured in the final of Europe's most prestigious club competition 11 years ago and have not won the famous trophy since fighting back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in 2005.

Saturday's final will be a repeat of the 1981 European Cup final, which Liverpool won 1-0 in Paris. Ominously, or perhaps reassuringly for Liverpool fans, it was the last time Real lost in the final of this competition.

Lovren says Liverpool's youthful side will take confidence from beating English Premier League champions Manchester City, Porto and Roma en route to Kiev.

They have also been in fine scoring form, netting 46 goals in 14 games this season, surpassing Barcelona's record of 45 in 1999/2000.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features and videos

"In these 90 minutes anything is possible, especially against Real Madrid," says Lovren.

"They know how to defend and attack, but when you look back we also played against Man City, Porto, Roma and we showed we can score many goals in the beginning of the half.

"So, definitely it will be an interesting game to watch and, of course, to play and hopefully we can go away with a smile."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41953849
Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
St. Joseph16524223
Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
Johnson6231165
Vigo597979
Hendricks5944156
Monroe530349
Clark504077
Madison4858121
Delaware4820103
LaPorte457194
Kosciusko455739
Howard334975
Warrick319572
Floyd311477
Bartholomew308462
Wayne301367
Cass295831
Marshall293744
Grant262949
Noble249846
Hancock246551
Boone240254
Henry240237
Dubois234631
Dearborn215730
Jackson212633
Morgan204443
Gibson181725
Knox181419
Shelby178254
Clinton177821
Lawrence174047
DeKalb172829
Adams166422
Wabash158020
Miami157814
Daviess154643
Fayette147733
Steuben143513
Jasper142111
Harrison141824
LaGrange140129
Montgomery139027
Whitley133412
Ripley128114
Decatur124643
Huntington123510
Putnam123027
Randolph120719
Wells120428
White120321
Clay119822
Posey119616
Jefferson116216
Scott103219
Greene101353
Jay96413
Starke90621
Sullivan88916
Fulton83518
Jennings83214
Spencer8198
Perry81521
Fountain7738
Washington7417
Franklin68626
Carroll67913
Orange66628
Vermillion5993
Owen5987
Parke5606
Newton55312
Tipton55226
Rush5317
Blackford51912
Pike50318
Pulaski37710
Martin3515
Benton3362
Brown3353
Crawford2881
Union2671
Switzerland2555
Warren2382
Ohio2307
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371840

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin50231667
Cuyahoga36047741
Hamilton29931372
Montgomery20065228
Butler14769146
Lucas14317414
Summit13388316
Stark8792197
Warren819175
Mahoning7276299
Lake682666
Lorain643499
Clermont577248
Delaware556436
Licking549276
Fairfield538464
Trumbull5305147
Greene522364
Clark511464
Allen465485
Marion465251
Wood4491107
Medina447756
Miami425867
Pickaway399348
Columbiana347297
Portage344872
Tuscarawas328658
Wayne318793
Richland316638
Mercer289945
Hancock241337
Ross240759
Muskingum240210
Auglaize231031
Putnam224749
Erie224266
Darke223559
Ashtabula223253
Geauga203351
Scioto195915
Union19118
Shelby190615
Lawrence189438
Athens18864
Seneca180018
Belmont164929
Madison158918
Sandusky154229
Preble152621
Huron152318
Defiance139522
Holmes139139
Logan127816
Knox126318
Fulton124525
Washington121927
Crawford121516
Ottawa121130
Clinton106714
Williams10579
Ashland105222
Highland101317
Jefferson10124
Henry100023
Brown9925
Champaign9475
Jackson93112
Hardin91019
Fayette90317
Van Wert8976
Morrow8882
Guernsey83914
Coshocton82613
Perry78712
Adams78313
Pike7451
Gallia73513
Wyandot71216
Paulding64611
Hocking62616
Noble60223
Carroll45710
Meigs39012
Monroe31821
Morgan2575
Vinton2195
Harrison2023
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Huntington
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 43°
Van Wert
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Cloudy Thanksgiving
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events