David James spoke exclusively to the ECHO about Liverpool’s impending Champions League match against Real Madrid, as well as Jude Bellingham
Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James says his former club should not be thinking about avenging themselves when they face Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Real Madrid travel to Anfield this week for the first leg of their last-16 contest against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. It’s a rematch of the 2022 Champions League final, which Los Blancos won 1-0 thanks to Vinicius Junior’s second-half score.
The two teams previously met in the 2018 final, which Real Madrid won 3-1 at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv thanks to goals from Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Real also eliminated Liverpool from the Champions League in the quarter-finals in April 2021.
Liverpool are coming off a 2-0 win away at Newcastle United on Saturday night, and they also beat Everton by the same scoreline in the game before their trip to St James’ Park.
“Obviously, Liverpool beating Real Madrid in the round of 16 means they won’t have to face them in the final, which is a positive,” James said of the tie when questioned about it.
“But, as Liverpool has discovered on several occasions in recent years, it is the final that counts. You must reach and win the championship.
“I think the fact that is over two legs will be better and more helpful to Liverpool, rather to only one the game.
“The two times Liverpool have been lost in finals by Real Madrid you might argue if we played the game again in a second-leg they would be able to overturn the gap.
“I’d like to think it’s not retaliation. Liverpool has a winning squad; just do the right things and the results will follow.”
Jude Bellingham is one player that has been connected with both Liverpool and Real Madrid. The race to sign the Borussia Dortmund star this summer is already shaping up to be the most exciting of the season.
Together with Liverpool and Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City, and Chelsea are also interested in the 19-year-old. The midfielder is under contract with Dortmund until 2025, and the club is said to be worth over £130 million.
“When you look at the investment, £100 million over ten years works out to £10 million per year. “His worth will rise as he plays,” James said of Bellingham.
“In six years, Liverpool might turn around and say, ‘We can sell him for £200 million,’ which would be a wonderful investment as long as Liverpool won the league a couple of times.
“He is a young man. I’ve met and talked with him, and I know people who work with him who say he’s a strong character, which is precisely what you’re looking for.”