Dejan Lovren says he is ready to stop Cristiano Ronaldo in Champions League final
By Sam Johnston
Last Updated: 22/05/18 9:10am
Dejan Lovren believes he is ready for the challenge of facing Cristiano Ronaldo when Liverpool take on Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday.
The Croatian defender is expected to line up alongside Virgil van Dijk at centre-back for the Reds, with the duo's chief task being to limit Ronaldo's impact.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is the leading scorer in this season's Champions League with 15 goals and while Lovren acknowledges a team effort is required to stop Ronaldo, he is confident of holding his own.
"Throughout 15 years, every year he (Ronaldo) scores more than 30 goals," Lovren said. "Even if he has a bad season he scores 30 goals, so you need to pay attention to that.
"We play in the Premier League against some of the best strikers in the world and we know how to defend like a team.
"Of course some parts of the game it will be one-against-one. It will be tough but it's a challenge that I'm ready for."
Beyond stopping Ronaldo, Liverpool will also have to cope with Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, leading some to suggest attack might be the Reds' best form of defence.
If Jurgen Klopp's side are to triumph in Kiev, they undoubtedly will be heavily reliant upon their own front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The trio have struck 29 goals between them in the Champions League this season, almost evenly split with Salah and Firmino on 10 goals and Mane nine.
Having scored in both legs of Liverpool's semi-final against Roma, Mane is confident of catching his team-mates on Saturday.
"I think more goals are coming," Mane said.
"Especially as a striker you would love to score every single game to help your team.
"Now we have one more important game, so why not try to do our best and score for the team and win the trophy."