Rivals

Michael Owen on 'unique' Liverpool fans, Jurgen Klopp & Mohamed Salah vs Karim Benzema

Jack Gallagher
“REAL MADRID ARE ARGUABLY THE BIGGEST CLUB IN THE WORLD”  | Michael Owen | CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 🏆
“REAL MADRID ARE ARGUABLY THE BIGGEST CLUB IN THE WORLD” | Michael Owen | CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 🏆 / 90min Football
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The biggest game of the season between the two best teams.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid.

The UEFA Champions League final.

The final every neutral wanted.

And ahead of what promises to be an exceptional game of football on Saturday at the Stade de France, we at 90min sat down with Michael Owen to discuss his two former clubs.


Who is the bigger club and why?

"I'm going to say Real Madrid.

"Both teams have got phenomenal support around the world. I think Real Madrid, being in the capital city, being just such an iconic place, 13 times champions of Europe. Their European pedigree, as much as Liverpool's is absolutely astounding, Real Madrid's is out on its own.

"The league titles, the players who have played there, the reach that they've got around the world...of course I'm saying these things and Liverpool have got them all as well...but I just think that, on balance, Real Madrid - probably based on the European cups that they've won over the years - are arguably the biggest football club in the world."


Which club has the best fans?

"Well I'm going to pull one back here for Liverpool, I think Liverpool have got the best fans.

Liverpool v Villarreal - UEFA Champions League
Liverpool are famous for the atmosphere they create / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

"They're renowned all around Europe of course, particularly their away fans. It's something that's quite special and quite unique. I played for Real Madrid and whenever you play away from home there's no away support in Spain.

"I think in terms of fans who follow their team home and away, through thick and thin, and to every corner of the globe, I think Liverpool fans are definitely taking this one."


Anfield or the Santiago Bernabeu?

"I think the Bernabeu is a better stadium, it holds more people, it's undergone an unbelievable redevelopment in recent times.

"In terms of atmosphere though there's possibly nowhere better than Anfield, especially to play on a European night.

"So...if you're saying best stadium then it's the Bernabeu."


Which stadium would you fear going to as a player?

"I think, in terms of other players, you'd fear going to Anfield more than most stadiums in the world.

"We've seen that over the last few years in particular, and back in the heady days of some great teams of the past that Liverpool have had. European nights at Anfield are something different to virtually every other place. The atmosphere, the history, you feel it all when you go to Anfield so I think it's more of a fortress than the Bernabeu."


Who has the better squad?

"Liverpool currently have the better squad.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane
Two of the best / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

"As much as it's not a one-sided affair this final, I really do believe that Liverpool are the better team. They come into it with great recent form, so I think Liverpool come into this game in really good shape and I think they're the better team."


Who is the more attractive club to sign for?

"Right now, Liverpool are probably the most attractive club in the world to sign for. They're very successful in Europe and successful domestically. And ok, they've only won one league in recent years but they've always been competitive.

"Some clubs will always have that draw and when Real Madrid come in you think 'wow'. Has anybody ever said no to Real Madrid? They're just the most iconic club.

"Some badges just represent everything football is about, but I think on balance at the moment, if you're a free agent and Jurgen Klopp comes knocking on your door, you'd be very, very hard pushed to resist."


Benzema or Salah?

Karim Benzema
Best in the world? / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

"That's so tough...

"I think they both really suit their teams very well...I don't know...Benzema this year has just been sensational, probably ahead of Salah...

"I think Benzema is a more gifted player technically, you know his touch is better, he's a purer footballer. But Salah's results are quite stunning over the last few years.

"For the last few years I would've said Salah but just for this season I'd probably say Benzema."


Ancelotti or Klopp?

"If I was a player now, I'd want to play for Jurgen Klopp ahead of Carlo Ancelotti.

Premier League Football GIF by Liverpool FC - Find & Share on GIPHY

"His enthusiasm, his love for his players, for the fans, the way he's embraced the city, it feels like you'd go into the training ground everyday and just be enthused by the whole atmosphere. He creates a real winning mentality.

"Straight from the off he was just a breath of fresh air and he's absolutely idolised on Merseyside, and you can obviously understand why."


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