Mohamed Salah was 'disrespecting' the Real Madrid badge with his comments about preferring to face them over Manchester City with Liverpool in the Champions League final this Saturday, Federico Valverde said.
The Reds will face Los Blancos in a rematch of the 2018 final in Paris, after the former beat Villarreal and the latter saw off City in a dramatic encounter.
Before the semi-finals however, Salah admitted he would rather face La Liga's champions than his side's Premier League rivals - a remark that has not gone over well in Spain.
What has Valverde said about Salah's words?
Speaking ahead of Saturday's encounter, Valverde - in comments to Club del Deportista published by Marca - addressed the Egypt star's words head-on.
"Obviously, they're words that everyone can take however they want," Valverde said. "I'm his opponent and it's like disrespecting the Real Madrid badge, the players.
"The only thing we must do is give our best, try to show why we're in the final and let's hope we can give another trophy to the fans and to Real Madrid."
What will the Champions League final bring?
While Salah's words may be firing Madrid up, the forward will have his own personal grudge to settle against Los Blancos.
The attacker famously was injured in Liverpool's 2018 final defeat to the Spanish outfit, effectively hobbling the Reds' chances throughout and his subsequent World Cup at Russia 2018.
With the sting of the Premier League title race likely to still be present, Salah will be fired up to take some revenge in Paris at the weekend.