Gary Neville has pleaded with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to plunder a hat-trick for Real Madrid when they meet Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 26.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will be in Kiev after strolling past B-grade European teams such as Porto, Manchester City and Roma.
They will come up against defending champions Real, who have the chance to win their fourth Champions League title in five years.
And Neville, speaking to the Daily Mail, has pleaded with Ronaldo, who scored twice in the final last season, to once again deliver the goods in Kiev.
“We’ve got a charter booked for the 27th of May [day after Champions League final],” he said.
“There will be a million flights booked out of Manchester to the forests of the Amazon where there’s no wifi.
“We’re out of here, we’re gone. It’d be the season from hell. Let’s just live in hope that United win the FA Cup and our friend and boy Cristiano [Ronaldo] turns up, scores a lovely little hat-trick.
“Liverpool have done brilliantly to get to a Champions League final. I just don’t want them to win it!”
Following a truly remarkable 90 minutes at the Bernabeu against Juventus, which saw the Serie A champions claw back a three goal deficit only to lose out to a last minute penalty that put Zinedine Zidane’s men in the semi-final, left-back Marcelo said: “Obviously what happened to Barcelona [against Roma] wasn’t going to happen to us, because we’re Real Madrid.”
And that, right there, is the main reason why all non-Liverpool supporting football fans can be confident thinking about the final. Not because of Ronaldo, or Real’s range of world class options all over the pitch. But rather that sheer, incorruptible belief in their capacity to come out of these big ties victorious. It is hardwired into their system. It is both what drives and explains Real’s perennial success.
Klopp has also masterfully turned his Liverpool team into a group of believers – a collection of players who, you can tell, really do believe and cherish the thrilling capacity of the attacking football engendered and executed brilliantly by their manager in Europe this season.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, believe in themselves because they are Real Madrid. This is their stage, their type of game, their trophy. And every United supporter will desperately hope they can keep it that way in under two weeks time.