Van Dijk: Champions League final experience will boost Liverpool

Liverpool suffered disappointment in last year's Champions League final, which defender Virgil van Dijk says can boost them this season.

Published : May 09, 2019 02:03 IST , Liverpool (England)

Virgil van Dijk feels Liverpool's experience of losing in last season's Champions League final can boost them this year.

Mohamed Salah's injury and Loris Karius' terrible individual performance contributed to defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev.

But Liverpool will have a chance to make amends against either Ajax or Premier League rivals Tottenham.

Jurgen Klopp's side produced yet another famous Anfield comeback to stun Barcelona 4-0, progressing 4-3 on aggregate.

And Van Dijk feels the disappointment of Kiev could help to fuel the Reds' fire when they return to the final in Madrid on June 1.

READ | Liverpool vs Barca: Origi and Wijnaldum double strikes propelLiverpool into Champions League final

"I think the experience will definitely help us a little bit," Van Dijk told Liverpool's official website. "But if you look at both teams, they are great teams to face.

"We are going to try to do everything that's possible to win it. But it's a final and we know anything can happen. We'll see what's going to happen."

Doubles from unlikely heroes Divock Origi and half-time substitute Georginio Wijnaldum sent Liverpool, who were without injured forwards Salah and Roberto Firmino, into the final.

"I think Divock was unbelievable, Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] was a different level," Van Dijk added. "Everyone has the confidence to fill in the job. Obviously everyone has different qualities but you have to use them and today [Tuesday] we showed it a lot.

In pictures | Liverpool completes stirring comeback to storm into secondconsecutive UCL final

"Divock was outstanding and was very important for us, keeping the ball. If you see how Gini comes on after obviously a little disappointment of not starting, I think it's outstanding. We can all be proud because everyone plays a part in it."

Club captain Jordan Henderson said he relished the chance to prove critics wrong after Liverpool fell to a 3-0 defeat at Camp Nou in the first leg, Lionel Messi's incredible long-range free-kick capping a win that seemed to have booked a final berth for the LaLiga champions.

"It was an unbelievable night," Liverpool's captain told reporters after the Reds wrote a new chapter in their proud European history in the second leg. "From start to finish I thought the lads were amazing. The atmosphere was amazing. It was just unbelievable.

"I think a lot of people would have written us off but we have a belief in this team. We knew that if we gave everything, you know never know what can happen in football. We said we would fight for everything right to the end.

Also read | Barcelona was scared by Liverpool and Anfield, claims Houllier

"I think we proved quite a few people wrong. We showed that if you never give up and you keep trying you can produce special things and create a special night.

"For me, throughout my career, I have always wanted to prove people wrong and that will never change. I will continue to do that until I finish playing football. 

"Football is like that anyway, it changes that quickly. Whether you are winning trophies or not there are always questions asked, someone else saying you cannot do this or that. So there is always things that you want to prove. 

"I want to improve as a footballer and keep getting better to contribute to the team to be successful."

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