Steven Gerrard has passed on a special message to Liverpool squad ahead of their meeting with Real Madrid, encouraging them to “go and deliver” and win the Champions League.
The current Rangers boss won Europe’s biggest prize with the Reds back in 2005 following an incredible penalty shootout win over AC Milan.
Gerrard, seen as the main inspiration that day to help his side recover from a three-goal half-time deficit, has drawn on his past experiences to urge Jurgen Klopp’s current crop of finalists to “seize the moment” and make history.
He told the club’s official website: “These players have an opportunity to not just change their careers but their lives in general. 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.
“It’s important that they try to blank it [the hype around the game] out if they can. It’s difficult but just make sure your preparation is spot-on, you get your sleep and the right food, and everything goes well. It’s tough, because of the magnitude of the game: it’s the biggest game you’ll play in as a Liverpool player.”
Klopp’s side defeated Roma 7-6 on aggregate to book their place in the Kiev final, while they have scored an impressive 40 goals in the competition (excluding play-off matches) this season, 10 more than Madrid.
And, when asked what had impressed him post about the run to the final, Gerrard added: “The style they have done it in – the amount of goals they have scored, the quality of the goals, the movement. 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.
“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.”