Fasting or not, Klopp says Salah 'full of power'
ABS-CBN Sports on May 26, 2018 08:19 AM
Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp puts his arm around the shoulder of Mohamed Salah during a training session at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, May 25, 2018 ahead of the Champions League final soccer match between Real Madrid and Liverpool on Saturday May 26. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
By JAMES ELLINGWORTH
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Juergen Klopp wouldn’t reveal if Mohamed Salah is fasting for Ramadan while preparing for the Champions League final.
But either way, Liverpool’s star forward is “full of power,” his coach said on Friday on the eve of club football’s biggest game.
“Religion is private how I understand it, so nothing to say about that, but all fine,” Klopp said on Salah and Ramadan, adding that the Egyptian is “full of power and whatever you need to be the day before a final.”
During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. That could possibly leave Salah, an attacking sensation this season for Liverpool and a key figure in the final against Real Madrid, facing a tricky preparation for the game in Kiev on Saturday night.
On Saturday, the sun will rise in Kiev just before 5 a.m. local time and set just before 9 p.m., less than an hour before kickoff. If he is fasting, Salah will go around 16 hours without food or drink on the day of the biggest game of his career, and then have a very short time to eat and rehydrate.
Klopp also conceded that Real’s experience of winning the Champions League the last two years will give it an advantage but hopes to find the right tactical solution to bridge the gap.
“Experience is very important and I’m really pretty sure that in a second before the game Real Madrid will be more confident than we are. But it’s not a problem because the game doesn’t end in that second, it only starts,” he said.
“Nobody expected us to be here but we are here because we are Liverpool. It’s the most exceptional run to a final with the most goals ever. I can’t believe that its true but it’s us.”
Klopp was also full of compliments for his Real counterpart Zinedine Zidane’s coaching skills, saying he had a deeper tactical knowledge than many people realize.
“He’s brilliant like he was as a player. This group of players with him obviously work like a clock from Switzerland,” he said. “It’s just fantastic football. It’s organized when it needs to be organized, and its chaos when it needs to be chaos.”
Conceding Real has more quality in depth in its squad, Klopp added that “tactics in football are there to bring a better opponent on your level and when they’re on your level you can beat them.”