Steven Gerrard responds to Jurgen Klopp's complaint over Stade de France pitch

Steven Gerrard believes Jurgen Klopp should be above referencing the state of the Stade de France pitch as a cause for concern ahead of the Champions League final.

UEFA stripped Russia and Saint Petersburg from staging the biggest match of the European season earlier this year as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.

France’s national stadium staged the Champions League final in 2000 and 2006 and will do so again this evening, albeit with new surface which was hastily put in place following a rock concert last week.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp did his best to play down concerns but admitted playing on a new pitch was far from ideal.

He said: ‘It’s not ideal and it’s the same for both teams but what I would say is both teams trained on this pitch less than 24 hours ago.

‘To me it looks in very good condition considering it hasn’t been laid for very long and I think both sets of players, both managers, both clubs are above thinking about the pitch, they’ll be full focused on what they’ve got to do once the game starts.

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‘You can see the lines where they put the pieces of the pitch (together), which is what we aren’t used to.

‘That someone thought it was a good idea to bring the pitch the day before to the stadium is an interesting idea.

‘But it didn’t kill my mood a per cent. I am really happy we are here, I would have played the game on petanque.’

Speaking just hours before kick-off, meanwhile, Gerrard, who captained Liverpool in two Champions League finals, insisted both clubs should not be looking for any excuses.

He told BT Sport: ‘It’s not ideal and it’s the same for both teams but what I would say is both teams trained on this pitch less than 24 hours ago.

‘To me it looks in very good condition considering it hasn’t been laid for very long and I think both sets of players, both managers, both clubs are above thinking about the pitch, they’ll be full focused on what they’ve got to do once the game starts.’

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