By 90Min
May 31, 2019

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says that he wants to erase the 'painful' memories of losing last year's Champions League final by winning this year against Tottenham Hotspur.

Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in last year's final following two errors by goalkeeper Loris Karius and a brilliant over-head kick by Gareth Bale

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Van Dijk says that he is determined to use that experience to help Liverpool win the Champions League when they play Tottenham in the final on Saturday.

"I took a lot of experience from it; hopefully I can use that. Losing a final is painful," he told BBC Sport.

Liverpool finished 26 points above Spurs in the Premier League and won both league encounters but the Dutchman insists that Tottenham will pose a great challenge to his side.

"People can say whatever they want, that we had a better season than them in the league.

"That was maybe true, but anything can happen. The final is one game.

"They're a very good team and throughout they have a lot of strength. They have a fantastic goalkeeper, two great centre-backs and a midfield that's been very good. They have Victor Wanyama, who I know from Southampton, and Christian Eriksen, who has been doing it for years.

"Up front, they have players who can make a difference, so we have to be ready.

"But I know they'll definitely think the same about us. We're not a nice team to face so it's going to be difficult."

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Liverpool, like Tottenham, reached the final in dramatic circumstances, overturning a 3-0 first leg deficit against Barcelona to win 4-0 in the return leg at Anfield, despite being without key forward duo Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

Van Dijk spoke fondly of his memories from that game and said that coming into the tie his side were optimistic that they could make a comeback.

"It was something special. You can't really describe it or put into words how special it was.

"After the first leg, we prepared and had meetings, and we drove to the stadium thinking it could be a really special night.

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

"My experiences of the Champions League, especially at Anfield, have been extraordinary.

"They've been something special and this season at Anfield, we've been showing teams we're even more difficult to beat.

"Hopefully we can keep that for the future as well."

Liverpool play Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final at 8pm on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.

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