David James has been speaking exclusively to the ECHO about Liverpool’s upcoming Champions League tie against Real Madrid and Jude Bellingham.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James believes revenge should not be on his old side’s mind when they face Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Defending champions Real make the trip to Anfield this week for the first-leg of their last-16 tie against Jurgen Klopp’s side. It is a repeat of the 2022 Champions League final that saw Los Blancos win a tense affair 1-0 thanks to Vinicius Junior’s second-half strike.
The two teams also played in the 2018 final, which Real won 3-1 at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv thanks to a Gareth Bale brace and a Karim Benzema strike. Real also knocked the Reds out of the Champions League back in April 2021 at the quarter-final stage.
Liverpool head into Tuesday night’s game on the back of a huge 2-0 win away at Newcastle United on Saturday night, while they also beat Everton by the same scoreline in the game before their trip to St James’ Park.
“Liverpool beating Real Madrid in the round of 16 obviously means they won’t have to face them in the final, which is a positive,” James told the ECHO when asked about the tie.
“But as Liverpool have found out on a couple of occasions over the last few years, it is the final that matters. You have got to get to that final and win it.
“I think the fact it is over two legs will be better and more beneficial to Liverpool, suppose to just one the game.
“The two times Liverpool have been beaten in finals by Real Madrid you could argue if we played the game again in a second-leg they would be able to overcome the deficit.
“I would like to think it is not revenge. Liverpool have got a squad of winners, just focus on doing the right things and get the result.”
One player who both Liverpool and Real Madrid have been linked with is Jude Bellingham. The battle to sign the Borussia Dortmund star this summer is already set to be the most intriguing of the transfer window.
As well as Liverpool and Real, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Chelsea are also among the 19-year-old’s suitors. The midfielder is contracted at Dortmund until 2025 and the club, it is claimed, value him at about £130 million.
“When you look at investment, £100m over 10 years, that is £10m a year effectively. His value will go up as well as he plays,” James said when asked about Bellingham.
“There might be a point in six years where Liverpool turn around and say we can sell him for £200m, which would be a good investment as long as Liverpool win the league a couple of times.
“He’s a very young man. I’ve met him and chatted with him and I know people who work with him and they say he is a solid character and that is exactly what you want.”
David James was speaking to the Liverpool ECHO at the launch of the William Hill’s new shop in Liverpool Central.