Fernando Morientes says Liverpool will be well aware Real Madrid are favourites to win a third straight Champions League.
Los Blancos will attempt to win European football’s biggest prize for the fourth time in five seasons when they face the Reds in Saturday’s showpiece in Kiev.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have impressed with their devastating attacking play in this season’s competition, their forward trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane rated among the best in world football.
But Morientes, a three-time winner of the competition with Madrid who also played for Liverpool, believes there will be a nervousness about the Reds given they have not been in the final since 2007, while Zinedine Zidane’s side have experience in their favour.
“I think the final will be very open,” Morientes told Marca.
“They are two sides that play on the attack, that like to take risks, who score goals, and concede them easily. It will be very exciting.
“When Real Madrid are in a final they are the favourites, and more so having won the last two editions.
“That is a point in their favour. It is true that Liverpool come with enthusiasm and a great history behind them, but even they know that Real Madrid are the favourites.
“[Real] are used to this situation. The nervousness of having not played a final [since 2007] may be a handicap for Liverpool.”
Liverpool’s success has been driven by a phenomenal debut campaign on Merseyside from Salah, who many are tipping to be in the conversation for the Ballon d’Or, particularly if he can help steer his side to Champions League glory.
However, Morientes insists it is premature to start comparing the Egypt winger with Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi.
“He is a player with a great future,” he added. “Some journalists try to compare him with Cristiano, but let’s go slowly.
“Ronaldo has shown many things for many years. It is difficult to reach his level.
“Salah’s season has been spectacular, but to compare yourself with Ronaldo you must do 10-12 campaigns like this, continuously.”