Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool obviously left a lasting impression on Fabian Ruiz.
Napoli’s left-footed midfield maestro started both games as Carlo Ancelotti’s side took on the Reds during the group stage of last season’s Champions League.
The Partenopei won at a raucous Stadio San Paolo thanks to a last-gasp Lorenzo Insigne strike but fell short when it really mattered at Anfield six weeks later. Mo Salah scored the only goal of the game and Napol’s Champions League journey was over at the first hurdle, thwarted by a brilliant Alisson Becker save in the dying seconds.
Liverpool, of course, would go onto win Europe’s biggest club competition for the sixth time in Madrid and Ruiz was forced to watch on wistfully and wonder what might have been. Small margins indeed.
"The truth is that we could've progressed and eliminated Liverpool, but they got through (the group) on goal difference in the end,” the Xavi-loving Spain international told Marca before tipping the Merseyside giants to beat Tottenham in the final. They did of course, Salah and Divock Origi securing a 2-0 win.
"(Jurgen) Klopp has done a very good job, they never gave up. That's why I think Liverpool will not let the final escape them this year."
Classy and deceptively skilful despite his rangy stride, Ruiz clearly knows what makes Liverpool tick and he’d surely have no problems slotting into an already star-studded midfield.
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