Liverpool midfielder, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, has his sights set on having a part to play in this year’s Champions League final after injury ruled him out of The Reds’ 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the ultimate showdown 12 months ago.
The former Arsenal man was hit by a serious knee injury in the first leg of the semi-final against Roma, causing him to miss the final, as well as the England’s fourth place finish in the World Cup at Russia.
After being sidelined for a lengthy twelve months by the injury, Oxlade-Chamberlain made his comeback in two substitute appearances this season, and is hoping to make up for all the time spent on his recovery.
The 25-year-old spoke to Liverpool’s official website: ‘I wasn’t able to get loads of minutes but I was happy to just come back.’
‘Dreams are made of maybe having some part to play in Madrid, but it’s not about me – it’s about making sure whoever is on the pitch does the job for the club and for the team.
‘If I can be involved, that would be amazing, but just to be around it and be fit and healthy again is good for me as well at the minute.
‘At times it’s been a little bit frustrating as well because you feel you are back and to then keep up with these boys after the long season they’ve had and the intensity they train at, coming back from a year it’s not so easy and you pick up little things along the way.
‘It’s been another little journey for me the last part, but it’s been really exciting to be in and around the team and in contention to maybe have some part in the final, but just to be involved is amazing for me.
‘After “crutching” my way around the pitch last year, it’s nice to be in this situation!’
Oxlade-Chamberlain is part of the Liverpool team currently training in Marbella ahead of their Champions League final clash with Tottenham Hotspur, and the midfielder believes the warm weather conditions in the Andalusian region of Spain could boost their prospects at the Wanda Metropolitano come June 1.
‘Obviously the final is going to be in Madrid, so a lot warmer than maybe an evening game in England that we’re used to so, we’ve come out here to try to get used to that,’ added Oxlade-Chamberlain.
‘Coming out here and making it a little bit tougher is obviously really helpful. The boys have approached it really well, as they have done all season.
‘The gaffer is shouting and pushing us to stay right on top of everything – and that’s what we need. We’ve got one last push now and everyone looks really good.
‘Hopefully we can pull something off and make some special memories and history.’