Georginio Wijnaldum: Liverpool can be legends with Champions League title
LIVERPOOL -- Georginio Wijnaldum says the opportunity for he and his Liverpool teammates to cement themselves in Anfield folklore is another motivating factor ahead of the Champions League final.
Liverpool can secure their sixth European Cup crown in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 26, but in doing so they will have to stop Real Madrid, who are looking for their third successive Champions League triumph.
Wijnaldum, who will hope to play in his first cup final as a Liverpool player, believes winning Europe's premier club competition would ensure Liverpool's 2017-18 side is forever remembered.
"That's what makes it more exciting," the midfielder told reporters. "You can put yourself there with legends that won the Champions League.
"That's what everyone wants. That is what makes it really exciting for us because we have the opportunity now to win a big trophy with a massive club [that has been] waiting a lot of years for a trophy. We are lucky that we can give them one if we win.
"I'm really [looking forward to it]. Not only me, but a lot of the players. Two years ago [there was the] Europa League final but the Champions League final is the highest you can play for a club.
"So everyone will look forward to it. For a lot of us it will be the first time in the final, so I'm really excited to play in that one."
Liverpool are comfortably the highest-scoring side in the Champions League, having scored on 40 occasions in the competition so far this season, with Real Madrid second on 30.
Wijnaldum heads into the encounter at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium confident Liverpool will get chances to make the most of their attacking firepower.
Asked if the Reds have the belief they can deny Real Madrid their 13th European Cup title, the 27-year-old replied: "Yes, of course.
"Also because we got results in difficult games in the Champions League and in the Premier League. That gives us a lot of confidence.
"They are really professional -- this is their third final in three years, so that says a lot about that team. They are used to playing in games like this. It's going to be difficult but I think that's something we can deal with.
"Every game is a different game, different things will happen, you have to deal with different situations. You don't look at the past and say: 'You know we scored a lot of goals so we are going to create them against Real Madrid.'
"We have to see how we going to perform. The only thing we have to do is play our own game and not be nervous. I think then we will make a chance to win the game."
Liverpool have a 13-day gap between their final league game of the season and the Champions League final, while Real have just a one week to prepare.
"As a player you want a little bit of rest, so we will get the rest we need," Wijnaldum added. "We will also train hard to stay in shape and to prepare ourselves for Real Madrid.
"It's been tough because we had a lot of injuries, so there was no time for rest. But to be fair, I enjoyed it. I played a lot of games. As a player you want to play a lot of games. It was intense and hard, but it was OK."
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