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Diogo Jota: ‘I’ve always got knocked out by Real Madrid”

Real Madrid v Liverpool FC: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota has expressed his frustration with facing Real Madrid in the Champions League for three consecutive seasons, and hopes to avoid them in the Europa League next term.

The Portuguese joined the Reds from Wolves in 2020, and has been part of the Liverpool side that lost to the Spanish giants in the final in 2022, and in the quarter-finals and round-of-16 in 2021 and 2023 respectively.

Speaking to FourFourTwo magazine, Jota said: “They [Real Madrid] can somehow finish third in their [Champions League] group and still be in our way. But since I came to Liverpool, I’ve always got knocked out by Real Madrid, so hopefully they’re not there [in the Europa League].”

Jota admitted that playing in the Europa League is a “downgrade” for Liverpool, who failed to finish in the top four of the Premier League last season for the first time since 2015/16.

However, he insisted that the Reds will give their best to win the competition, which they last lifted in 2016 under Jurgen Klopp.

“I played in the Europa League before with Wolves,” he said. “Although the fans are used to playing in the Champions League every single year and it will feel like a downgrade, it’s still a prestigious competition. We’ll give our best to win it.”

Jota also revealed back in June the secret behind his end-of-season scoring spree for Liverpool, and how Karim Benzema inspired him.

“I never scored with the previous boots and it’s a psychological thing if you’re a striker – ‘Maybe it’s the boots I need to change’,” he said. “Then you score and everything feels fine.”

He added that he was inspired by Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who wore the same orange Adidas X Speedportal footwear as him.

“I remember Karim Benzema wearing the same ones – it’s hard to argue when you’re scoring,” he said.

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