Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid made them stronger

Naby Keita to miss Saturday's Champions League final against Tottenham but Roberto Firmino is fit to play

Jurgen Klopp celebrates Liverpool's dramatic 4-0 win over Barcelona 1:13
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool have been spurred on by last season's Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his current squad are incomparable with the team that lost to Real Madrid in last season's Champions League final.

Liverpool suffered heartbreak in Kiev as Real won 3-1 to secure their third consecutive European crown.

The Reds regrouped to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title this season, while also reaching the Champions League final for the second consecutive year.

Klopp's side will look to go one better when they face Tottenham in Madrid on Saturday and the German says his squad are continually spurred on by their painful loss at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last year
Image: Liverpool lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last year

"It had a big influence on us," said Klopp. "I remember that situation when we were standing in the queue at the airport in Kiev on the way home.

"We were all in tracksuits, heads down and stuff like that. Everybody really frustrated and very disappointed about the situation. You could not really get it, you were not allowed to be angry - it was a lot of different emotions.

"The plan was we come again, we will be there again. Now we are there, it's just incredible. It was the kick-start for the development of this team, 100 per cent.

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"From the first day in the pre-season when we were all together, from the first matchday. It was a big, big step for the boys. This team cannot be compared with the team from last year."

Jurgen Klopp embraces Trent Alexander-Arnold after Liverpool narrowly miss out on the Premier League title
Image: The German says the defeat has helped motivate his players this season

Klopp has lost the Champions League final twice and the Europa League final once during his managerial career but the German believes he has never had a better chance to end that losing run.

"I have never been part of a final with a better team than this," he said. "At different times and for different reasons, my other teams were good as well.

"I'm not surprised because the boys are a mix of potential and attitude in the best way. It is brilliant and has brought us where we are."

Liverpool and Tottenham head into the final having not played a competitive match in three weeks, a period in which a number of Spurs players have returned to fitness, including top scorer Harry Kane.

Naby Keita says Liverpool are focused on winning their remaining Premier League games 0:34
Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita will miss Saturday's Champions League final against Tottenham but Roberto Firmino is fit to play, Klopp has confirmed

However, Klopp insists the break has not worked in favour of Mauricio Pochettino's side.

He said: "Both teams have had the same time to use, or lose their rhythm. That is how it is, our life is a constant challenge.

"I think we played in a European final three or four years ago, when we played three days after a really intense league. If you ask me to choose between three days and three weeks, I would also say three weeks.

"The best thing would probably be a week after but it is not possible because of the [FA] Cup final. I'm completely fine with that.

"For Tottenham it was for sure a good thing because they had a lot of injuries and they are pretty much all back now, but we had that as well - with Bobby [Firmino] especially."

Liverpool fans anfield 0:31
Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore says the club are working very hard to ensure their fans enjoy a great Champions League final

Liverpool finished 26 points ahead of Tottenham in the Premier League this season but Klopp is expecting a tight match in Madrid.

"The quality of us and Tottenham is pretty similar, the only difference in the league was consistency," he said. "We won both games against Tottenham but only 2-1.

"We had brilliant periods in those games and I think we deserved to win, but the home game was an absolutely tight game with a lucky goal in the last minute.

"That is what we expect, there is no doubt about that."

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