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Liverpool defender Matip: We've been amazed by Real Madrid's spirit

Liverpool defender Joel Matip admits the players have been "amazed" by the spirit Real Madrid have shown in this season's Champions League.

But Matip says Liverpool have "nothing to be afraid of" when they meet Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday night.

Matip said: "It was amazing to watch but we are also a very good team and hopefully we don't need to come back either. But we know even if we score, they have the quality to come back. We have to have it in our head that that is a threat and it is nothing to be afraid of but it is something we are prepared for.

"It is the whole team, they are one of the greatest sides in Europe and him (Karim Benzema) especially with the form he is in and the goals he has scored. It is just amazing. We have faced a lot of good players in the past and we will try to defend him as a team.

"Playing in so many finals, it gives you more experience and you know what the situation is. But it is still a big game, still something new and you try to focus. You try to prepare like it is a normal game, even if it is not a normal game. Everyone is looking forward to it and as a kid you always want to play these games. So now you try to enjoy it and make the most of it."

Matip has played in 43 of Liverpool's 62 games this term, making it comfortably his most productive campaign since he moved to Anfield in the summer of 2016. He puts his more robust output down to the fact that he was able to feel the benefits of a full pre-season having returned to action last summer after a campaign-ending setback in January 2021.

"Injury-wise, I think for sure [it's my best season], because it does help that you can get even a bit more rhythm," he added. "Hopefully it will get even better. I had a few injuries and I have always had to fight back and come back but it is always nice to know that you can come back and it gives you an extra boost to have a proper pre-season and all that stuff. I think that has really helped me."

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