Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi share their joy after Champions League final triumph

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Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah expressed his delight at playing a full role in Liverpool’s 2-0 Champions League final victory over Tottenham on Saturday, after injury ruined his night against Real Madrid a year ago.

The Egyptian went off injured and in tears during the first half of last year’s final after hurting his shoulder during the 3-1 loss to Real.

“Everyone is happy now, I am glad to play the second final in a row and play 90 minutes finally,” Salah told BT Sport.

“Everyone did his best today, no great individual performances today, all the team was unbelievable.”

Salah scored the second quickest goal in the final of the modern Champions League, blasting home a penalty less than two minutes into the match following a handball by Moussa Sissoko.

“I have sacrificed a lot for my career, to come from a village to go to Cairo, and to be an Egyptian at this level is unbelievable for me,” said Salah.

Divock Origi, who scored the winning goal against Barcelona in Liverpool’s remarkable semi-final comeback, sealed victory three minutes from time with a superb low finish.

“This is a moment I’ll never forget, it’s a great moment for the club and for the city,” Origi told BFM.

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Mohamed Salah's redemption after the agony of defeat to the joy of UCL success

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Mohamed Salah lifts the Champions League trophy

Mohamed Salah was off injured within 30 minutes of last year’s Champions League final but celebrating inside two minutes of this one.

The last props of the opening ceremony were not even down the tunnel when Salah lashed his penalty past Hugo Lloris before lingering to show his joy in front of the Tottenham fans, long after his team-mates had trundled away.

Salah has history with Spurs supporters, largely on account of being the main threat to Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot in recent seasons, but perhaps there was more to why he wanted to hang on the moment.

After all, it was on this stage last year, with club football’s biggest prize in sight, that Salah saw his final ended early by a tug from Sergio Ramos and a tumble on his shoulder.

Taken off after half an hour, Salah lay in hospital, helpless while Liverpool were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid and then he struggled at the World Cup, lacking sharpness as Egypt were knocked out without a victory.

“Before the game, I looked at a picture of last year and we were so disappointed to lose the final,” Salah said on Saturday night.

“I was very disappointed after that injury, I went off after 30 minutes and we lost the game. It motivated me to win today. When you know how it feels to lose, you say to yourself ‘Let’s go and win that’.”

Salah had been less explosive in recent months, perhaps because opponents are warier, or perhaps just because sustaining those levels of performance was always going to be a tall order.

But in many ways this final became Salah’s final, as soon as Moussa Sissoko thrust his arm out to point to a team-mate and Sadio Mane’s cross struck him after 23 seconds.

At the end, as Liverpool’s fans behind him roared, plumes of red filling the air, Salah arched his neck back and looked to the sky.

“I think our game is more mental,” he said. “You have to believe in yourself and you can see the players were believing in themselves tonight.

“Everything happens for a reason and last year when we lost the final, I think we were meant to come back and win it this time.”

Concrete reward

When he was growing up in Nagrig, a small farming town in Egypt, Salah would play video games and invariably choose Liverpool as his club. Now 26, he lifts his most prestigious trophy with them too, and the only one, other than a pair of Swiss Super League titles with Basel.

For all his individual accolades, and there are many, Salah now has a concrete reward to match his talent and for this Liverpool side too, who lost the Premier League title by one point, arguably to the most complete team the competition has ever seen.

Mohamed Salah after the final whistle

Mohamed Salah after the final whistle

“If I had a choice between the Champions League and the Golden Boot, then of course it would be the Champions League, no doubt the Champions League,” Salah said before last year’s final.

Salah beat Kane to the Golden Boot then and this year too, Tottenham’s striker deprived of the last six weeks of the season due to the ankle injury that made him a doubt even to play here.

Kane started but looked like a striker in his first match in almost two months and Salah was guilty of indecision himself, perhaps the three-week break leaving both these teams slightly jaded and short of zip.

He squared up Jan Vertonghen in the box but was unable to nip by, he attempted a flick to Mane but it fell short. He volleyed over from the edge of the area, moments after seeing Danny Rose head away off his foot at the back post.

If Salah was below-par so were Liverpool but it mattered little when the final whistle blew.

Divock Origi’s late strike had wrapped up a 2-0 victory, Liverpool’s sixth European Cup and for Salah, redemption.

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Jurgen Klopp celebrates the best night of his life... professionally, following Liverpool's UCL win

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Jurgen Klopp and his staff

Jurgen Klopp revelled in the biggest night of his managerial career on Saturday after winning Liverpool’s sixth European Cup, ending his own run of six straight losses in finals.

Klopp had lost his two previous Champions League finals, against Bayern Munich as Borussia Dortmund boss in 2013 and last year against Real Madrid, as well as the 2016 Europa League final and three domestic cup finals in Germany and England.

“I’m so happy for the boys, I’m so happy for my family, they suffer every year when we go to a final … they deserve it more than anybody,” Klopp said to BT Sport after the Anfield side defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in Madrid.

“It’s maybe the best night of my life… professional-wise.”

Liverpool clinched their first European trophy since 2005 thanks to Mohamed Salah’s early penalty and a late Divock Origi goal. Klopp hailed his side’s guts to win the trophy despite obvious tiredness.

“Did you ever see a team like this, fighting with no fuel in the tank any more?”

“This is great for our development because it’s always like we’d be doing good steps but people say ‘so what you didn’t win anything’.”

The German came in for high praise from defender Virgil van Dijk, who was named man of the match after another outstanding display.

Virgil van Dijk in action against Spurs

Virgil van Dijk in action against Spurs

“He’s a fantastic manager, first and foremost, but he’s a fantastic human being as well,” said the Dutchman.

“It’s a pleasure to work with him, but also with the rest of the coaching staff, all the people that work at Melwood (training ground).

“It’s an amazing environment to be in, and I’m very glad and very proud that he wanted me to play for this beautiful club.”

Van Dijk will have little time to rest as he heads off to Portugal for the Nations League, with the Netherlands facing England on Thursday.

But before that he will return to Merseyside to celebrate with the rest of the Liverpool squad.

“It’s going to be a tough two nights, but I don’t care, I will just enjoy every bit of it,” he said.

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