Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has said he used his pain in last year’s Champions League final to inspire him as Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 to win the trophy on Saturday.
Salah, forced out of the 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev a year ago with injury after a clash with Sergio Ramos, scored an early penalty as Liverpool erased the memory of that disappointment.
The Egypt international said he had used a photograph of him leaving the pitch in pain against Madrid to inspire him against Spurs at the Wanda Metropolitano.
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“I looked at the picture from last year before the game,” he told reporters. “I was very disappointed that I got injured and went out after 30 minutes and we lost the game. It was something to motivate me to win.
“I didn’t look at the picture for a long time. You can feel what you can beat, so I just looked at it one time and said: ‘OK, let’s go.’
“Our job is more mental and you have to believe in yourself before the game. You could see the players — we were believing in ourselves in the game.
“I think everything happens for a reason, and the reason for us to lose the final last season was to come back and win it again.”
Salah said he had not been worried about the pressure of taking Liverpool’s first-minute penalty, awarded for handball by Moussa Sissoko.
“I prepared myself before the game,” he said. “I scored a penalty to send Egypt to the World Cup after 28 years in the last minute, so this one was easier.
“It’s great. The final of the Champions League, take a penalty, to show the courage and to win the trophy.”
It was Liverpool’s first trophy under manager Jurgen Klopp after they lost out by just a point to Manchester City in a dramatic race for the Premier League title.
And Salah said he believed it would be the catalyst for more success, adding: “It’s the start. We will go next season for the Premier League.
“The average age of the team is 26-27, so we still have young players. It is good experience for us to win the trophy now, and also last season we learned a lot.”