Zinedine Zidane has expressed confidence that Real Madrid will eliminate Liverpool should the pair get drawn to face each other in the Champions League round of 16.
Liverpool took another step in their bid to defend the Champions League as they beat Red Bull Salzburg 2-0 on Tuesday night to qualify into the first knockout round.
Madrid were already through as runners-up after Paris Saint-Germain secured top spot in Group A, but they won their final match at Club Brugge nonetheless.
Now there is the possibility of Madrid facing Liverpool which would be a rematch of 2018 final when the two sides last met and the Spanish giants won 3-1.
Zidane, who quit Madrid five days after that win before returning in March 2019, has already started the war of words.
“If we play Liverpool, we will eliminate them,” Zidane said with a smile.
“We can’t do anything about the draw.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Andy Robertson believes everyone wants to beat Liverpool.
“Now, we know we are respected in Europe. No-one will want us but everyone who gets into the last 16 will fancy themselves. It is the toughest tournament.
“The teams you come up against are outstanding and will fancy themselves. Everyone does. Everyone is confident.
“Last year and the year before, we have been excellent in the knockout stages and we have controlled games but we know that now, we are the champions and everyone wants to beat us.
“That is what we have to deal with and hopefully we can deal with it well.
“But there are about 40 games between now and the last 16 – so we will worry about that when the time comes!” the Liverpool defender said.
Speaking further the Liverpool player said: “We respect every opponent we play but we know the way we have done things in the last two years and nobody wants to play against us and that is clear – but it is up to us to keep proving that.
“We cannot rely on that and we need to keep proving why people don’t want to play against us but so far, we have done that. We will wait for the draw and see who we get in the last 16.
“We know it will be tough regardless but we look forward to the challenge as we want to go far in this tournament against and we have made a big step here.”