Roma's Radja Nainggolan has admitted Liverpool were the last team he wanted to be paired with in the Champions League semi-final draw, insisting the Reds are "warriors like us".
Rather than being pleased to draw the competition's other surprise package and avoid perennial heavyweights Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, the Belgian revealed Liverpool's 'nothing to lose' attitudes makes them a particularly tough task for his side.
“I wasn’t happy with the draw, because in my view Liverpool were the toughest team out of the three," the midfielder told Het Laaste Nieuws (via Football Italia).
“It’s not that they have more quality than Real Madrid or Bayern, but they put a lot of hard work in and have nothing to lose. Real and Bayern might’ve underestimated Roma, but Liverpool are warriors, a bit like us."
One of the Liverpool 'warriors' that Nainggolan and his teammates know especially well is Mohamed Salah, who moved from Roma to Merseyside last summer.
29-year-old Nainggolan revealed what the Egyptian told his ex-teammates at Roma after their incredible quarter-final comeback against Barcelona.
“I spoke to Salah and he couldn’t believe we’d beaten Barcelona either! He was joking on Instagram that we’ll never hear the end of Kostas Manolas saying he scored the winning goal," he said, before praising the forward's incredible impact at Liverpool this season.
“It’ll be nice to see Momo again, we had a good rapport. He’s a good guy, sweet and respectful, as well as being an excellent player. I am not surprised by his success at Liverpool, as he always had the quality.
"The only difference now is perhaps he’s got more opportunities and also learned to keep a cool head in front of goal. I’m a fan of his.”
Liverpool take on Roma at Anfield on Tuesday April 24 in the first leg of the semi-final, before heading to the Italian capital a week later for the reverse fixture.