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Rio Ferdinand sends veiled warning to Liverpool over Real Madrid threat ahead of Champions League final

Rio Ferdinand has sent a veiled warning to Liverpool over the threat of Real Madrid ahead of the Champions League final in Paris on May 28.

The former Manchester United skipper praised Real’s character after they came behind for the third successive Champions League knockout tie to edge Manchester City 6-5 on aggregate in a remarkable semi-final second leg at the Bernabeu.

Riyad Mahrez gave City the lead on the night, opening up a two-goal advantage for Pep Guardiola’s men in the tie.

However, Real substitute Rodrygo scored twice in stoppage time to take the game to extra-time and then Karim Benzema netted a penalty in the 94th minute to set up a clash with the Reds in Paris.

The Spanish champions looked done and dusted after Mahrez’s goal but they showed incredible resilience and desire to bounce back and get the win.

And Ferdinand believes Jurgen Klopp’s men need to be wary of Real’s never say die attitude.

The Reds booked their place in the final after overcoming a scare of their own on Tuesday night.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg against Villarreal, they were 2-0 down at half-time of the reverse game. However, a firm team talk and the introduction of Luis Diaz did the trick as Liverpool came back to win 3-2 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate.

Real riding their luck

But speaking after the City game, Ferdinand sent the Reds a veiled warning over Real’s fortitude.

He told BT Sport after the game: “You should never doubt the players in this team. We have always said, experience counts for so much in this competition, but they showed heart, desire.

“These players, they have been there, they have seen this. The fact that they have so many players in this squad that have won multiple Champions League’s, at no point in this tournament did you see them panic.

“No matter where they are, what players that they have got, these boys trust each other, trust the manager, and this crowd, they have been crazy.”

Liverpool a different animal

Rio is right to talk up Real’s never say die attitude but having had that scare and performed so poorly in that first half against Villarreal, Jurgen Klopp will not allow that sort of complacency to happen…


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