The Portuguese is looking to fulfil a childhood dream in European competition, but could see his path cross with former employers along the way
Diogo Jota has named Porto as the one side that he wants Liverpool to avoid in the Champions League quarter-final draw, with the Reds forward hoping to face his former club in the final of the elite European competition.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are set to discover their last-eight opponents on Friday, with the race for continental glory in 2020-21 still stacked with heavyweight outfits that have their sights locked on landing the ultimate prize.
Premier League title holders from Anfield form part of that pack, with Jota hoping that a reunion with ex-employers – who dumped Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus out in the last 16 – can be delayed until a showpiece event in Istanbul on May 29.
What has been said?
Quizzed by RTP on whether he would like to line up against Porto in the quarter-finals, Jota said: “Honestly no. I think not.
“Because although Liverpool had a recent victory – I think they had Porto [previously in the Champions League knockout stages] and they managed to get past them – I think it would be a very complicated and very emotional game for me and I’d rather have another team.
“But in the final, yes. I’d agree to that.”
Liverpool’s record against Porto
The Reds faced the Portuguese giants in the knockout stages of the Champions League in successive seasons between 2018 and 2019.
Klopp’s men emerged victorious on each occasion, en route to making their way to back-to-back finals.
A 5-0 aggregate success was enjoyed first time around, before then prevailing 6-1 across two legs a year later.
It was in 2019 that Liverpool would go all the way and lift the trophy, with domestic rivals Tottenham edged out in Madrid as a sixth European crown was taken back to Merseyside.
Can Liverpool go all the way this season?
The Reds have endured a difficult domestic campaign, with untimely injuries conspiring against them.
European glory is still up for grabs, but the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Manchester City also remain in contention.
Jota believes anything is possible from this point, with the 24-year-old of the opinion that he can fulfil a childhood dream with Liverpool on the grandest of sporting stages.
He added of winning the Champions League: “I’ve always had this dream since I was a child. And although I had already participated in the competition with FC Porto, you never have the same ambitions that a club like Liverpool have in the competition, obviously.
“The Champions League is a knockout competition, I think anything can happen, and obviously much of our attention is focused there and the possibility of going far in the event.”