Mohamed Salah on his Champions League inspiration and why this is the start for Liverpool FC

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Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah used a photograph of his tearful Champions League final of 12 months ago to inspire him to return and win the European Cup for the first time.

Salah’s evening in Kiev last year ended after half-an-hour when he sustained a shoulder injury in a clash with Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.

It was a pivotal moment in the match and one the 26-year-old was keen to remind himself of for extra motivation when they came up against Tottenham in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

“I looked at the picture from last year before the game,” said Salah, who scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in only the second minute.

“I was very disappointed that I got injured and went out after 30 minutes and we lost the game. It was something to motivate me to win.

“I didn’t look at the picture for a long time. You can feel what you can beat you so I just looked at it one time and said ‘OK, let’s go’.”

KIEV, UKRAINE - Saturday, May 26, 2018: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah walks off in tears after being substituted with an injury during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

The Egyptian said he believed in fate and felt he would achieve something special this time around.

“Yeah, of course. Absolutely. Our job is more mental and you have to believe in yourself before the game,” he said.

“You could see the players; we were believing in ourselves in the game.

“I think everything happens for a reason and the reason for us to lose the final last season was to come back and win it again.

“It’s great. The final of the Champions League, take a penalty, show the courage and to win the trophy.

“We were a little bit disappointed after the final (last year) and now we are back and have won it again, the sixth time for Liverpool, it is something great.”

MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his sides first goal from the penalty spot to make the score 0-1 during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Since his stellar debut season for Liverpool Salah has been linked with a move to, mainly, Real Madrid and his first trophy for the club will no doubt spark another round of summer rumours.

However, he believes he can currently satisfy his ambition at Anfield and is already looking towards the next piece of silverware.

“Of course. We play every year with ambition,” he said.

“This year our target was the Champions League and the Premier League. We lost the Premier League by one point so that was also a big disappointment.

“You can’t finish your season with losing a game. We did everything to win the game and we deserved it.

“The first trophy and it’s the Champions League! It’s the start. It’s the first competition. We will go next season for the Premier League.

“This season was the first season we were really fighting for the Premier League, last season we were basically fighting for the Champions League. The year before the Europa League.

“The average age of (the squad) is 26 or 27 so we still have young players.

“It is good experience for us to win the trophy now and also last season we learned a lot.

“As you can see we were more calm, scored a second goal after 86 or 87 minutes and we were patient in the game.”

MADRID, SPAIN - SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates with the European Cup after a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

On the subject of being calm, Salah’s penalty was coolness personified as he drilled home with virtually his first touch.

It was only, however, the second most important spot-kick of his career.

He faced even more pressure in October 2017 when he carried the weight of a nation on his shoulders in a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Congo.

“I prepared myself before the game. I scored a penalty to send Egypt to the World Cup after 28 years in the last minute, so that (in the final) was easier,” he said.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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