Liverpool had a relaxed approach to their final training session before Saturday’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid, with Ferdinand and Gerrard taking opposite views on that strategy
Image: BT Sport)
Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand have disagreed over Liverpool’s preparations for the Champions League final on Saturday night.
The Reds take on Real Madrid at the Stade de France, looking for their seventh European Cup. The final training sessions for both sides took place on Friday, with the two rivals taking noticeably different attitudes to their preparations.
After stretching, Liverpool underwent a number of passing drills before finishing with a crossbar challenge between their squad. By contrast, Madrid took part in a rondo, 10v10 game and a crossing and finishing exercise. The La Liga champions’ session was much more lively than Liverpool’s who had a relaxed approach.
That is something that Ferdinand believes could be a problem for the Reds for their third Champions League final in four years. The former England international won the competition with Manchester United in 2008. And he believes that a more intense session would have been more beneficial to Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
“I did not like that. When I was a player we had like fast, intense eight a sides a day before a game. If we did not I would feel abnormal. These guys are conditioned a certain way,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“You have to remember how many games these guys have played so many games this season, every game this season, they’ve played, so you can understand the relaxed edge to training.”
HAVE YOUR SAY! Who do you think will win the Champions League final? Comment below.
Gerrard though did not agree with his fellow pundit, insisting that the relaxed attitude would have little impact on their performance. Instead, the Reds legend insisted that Klopp would have finalized his preparations away from the prying eyes of the world media.
“What I will say is that there were tons of media here as well. I am sure Jurgen had all his preparations done before they left and set off for Paris. I’ve also heard that they trained this morning as well,” Gerrard said. .
“They’ve probably gone over set pieces and the final small details. I think it’s very hard, you come here, tons of cameras, tons of people, they won’t want to give anything away so I think it was all done before they come. “
Klopp himself has encouraged his squad to match Madrid’s level come kick-off at the Stade de France. The German has encouraged his side to “be themselves” as they look to win their second Champions League in three years.
“If you look at the history of the club, the experience of the other team and the way Real Madrid celebrated comebacks then I would say from my point of view that Real Madrid is the favorite. But actually I want us to be on the same level and thinking we are at the same level, “he said.
“I want us to completely be ourselves in this game. If we are on the top of our game we are difficult to play, really difficult to play. That is my only concern at the moment, that we be ourselves and be really confident as well. But of course the confidence level of the Madrid players is incredibly high. “