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Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

'These players have an opportunity to not just change their careers but their lives in general'

Steven Gerrard has urged Liverpool’s players to ‘seize the moment’ in Kiev.

Steven Gerrard with the Champions League trophy in 2005.
Steven Gerrard with the Champions League trophy in 2005.

FORMER LIVERPOOL CAPTAIN Steven Gerrard says Jurgen Klopp’s team could change their lives by winning the Champions League final.

The Reds take on holders Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday in a bid to be crowned champions of Europe for the sixth time.

Gerrard inspired Liverpool to their dramatic triumph over AC Milan in 2004-05, the last time they won the trophy, while he also tasted defeat to the same opponents in the final of 2006-07.

The ex-England international thinks winning the competition can be a defining moment in a player’s career and urged Klopp’s side to “seize the moment” in Kiev.

“These players have an opportunity to not just change their careers but their lives in general,” he told Liverpool’s official website. ”They are the moments that you dream of.

“My message to the players would be: go and grasp it, go and seize the moment you have worked so hard for. Go and reward yourselves for the journey you have taken this club on.

“You’ve got to go in with the belief and confidence; you have come this far. You’ve got to handle the responsibility of being a Liverpool player and you’ve got to go and deliver.

“You’ll get plaudits and praise for getting where you are but not many people remember it if you don’t get over the line and deliver.

“I’m still really good friends with ex-team-mates in that team that I played with and I know what it would mean for them. I just hope they go and do it.”

Gerrard admits there has been more to admire about Klopp’s side from a neutral’s perspective than the Liverpool team of 13 years ago, who only made it out of their group with a 3-1 win over Olympiacos on matchday six.

“When we did it under Rafa [Benitez], with all due respect, some games we had to grind, a lot of games we had to suffer in and just get over the line,” he said.

“Our strength was mental strength, we never felt we were beaten and you had to work extremely hard to get anything out of us. This team still has the mental toughness but on the eye they look superb.

“Everyone is thinking, ‘Liverpool deserve this.’ They have looked the best, they have done it in style and, being a Liverpool fan, it has been brilliant to be part of.”

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