Alonso: Klopp must help players stay calm

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Former Liverpool and Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso believes Jurgen Klopp will be key in controlling his players’ emotions in the Champions League final.

The Merseyside outfit’s run was largely unexpected, but they have earned themselves a spot in the Champions League final against formidable back-to-back champions Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane’s squad includes multiple Champions League winners, many of whom have won the competition on more than one occasion, while Liverpool is largely inexperienced heading into Saturday’s clash.

Alonso, who won the competition with Liverpool in 2005 and with Los Merengues in 2014, believes it will come down to whether or not Klopp can get his players to perform at their best when it counts.

“Jurgen, it’s not his first final. So he’s the leader, he needs to try to get the players ready for such big emotions,” Alonso told the official Liverpool FC website.

“For the Real Madrid guys, it’s the opposite. They have played so many finals in the last few years, so they can manage the situation better.

“Later it’s just 90 minutes for both sides, whatever happens. But the build-up is different.

“For sure it’s good to have that experience. But it’s good as well to have that excitement, that hunger, but you need to control as well the over-relaxation and the over-motivation.”