Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet believes that Liverpool has a real chance to win the Europa League final against Sevilla.
In an exclusive interview with World Soccer Talk, Mignolet said, “It’s always nice to help the team out when needed. That’s part of being a keeper help the team out in critical moments. We want to win the games and we’ve done well in this competition beating Manchester United, Dortmund and Villarreal. And now we have a chance against Sevilla.”
Playing in finals with Liverpool is something that Mignolet has experience in. During the summer of 2014, he was the starting goalkeeper when Liverpool played Manchester United in the International Champions Cup final, staged in Miami. Despite the Reds losing 1-3 in the final in front of 51,014 fans, the Belgian has fond memories of the competition.
“It was brilliant playing against big teams in 2014 and it was great preparation for the season,” he said.
As for the Reds heading to the west coast of the United States this year for another installment of the International Champions Cup, Mignolet felt it would be a good experience. As always in the United States, Liverpool will receive passionate support from its growing fanbase. The club has not yet visited California in its American travels since the 2010 takeover by Boston-based Fenway Sports Group.
“We’ll be training really hard. It’s my first time on the west coast (of the US) so I look forward to being in California,” said Mignolet. “We know the fans will turn out in numbers as always in the United States. We look forward to their support.”
The UEFA Europa League final is Wednesday (live on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Soccer 2GO at 2:45pm ET). Despite Liverpool’s pedigree, they are the underdog in this match since Sevilla have won four of the last ten UEFA Cup/Europa League finals. Jürgen Klopp’s side has had an amazing run thanks in no small measure to Mignolet’s timely stops between the pipes in the competition.
Following the Europa League final, Mignolet will join up with the Belgium squad for Euro 2016 in France. The Belgians, despite limited international pedigree, are one of the favorites in the competition because of the depth in quality the squad has, especially among attacking players in the prime of their club careers.
“It’s in France close by and it’s been a long time since we qualified for the European Championship,” said Mignolet. “We have a generation of players who have grown up together and have lots of competition. We have loads of strikers, loads of wingers, some center half’s as well. We’re pushing hard and we want to all do well for the country in this tournament.“
Mignolet himself is locked in a competition for the number one shirt with Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois. The Liverpool stopper has been Courtois’ understudy for a number of years with the national team but has enjoyed a more consistent 2015-16 season than the Chelsea number one.
The Reds are just one of many big European clubs that will make the journey to the United States for this summer’s International Champions Cup. Liverpool will join Barcelona, Real Madrid, Celtic, Leicester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and AC Milan in participating in the major club soccer tournament. Find out all of the details including the International Champions Cup schedule and ticket information on World Soccer Talk.
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