WOLVES’ Raul Jimenez has revealed his deep love for Liverpool — ahead of the final-day clash that could hand them the Prem title.
The Mexican striker fell for the Reds when they came back from 3-0 down to win the 2005 Champions League final.
Yet he has assured Manchester City fans that does not mean he will roll over and let Liverpool win.
Jimenez, 28, said: “My dream is to score in front of the Kop.”
That means the next mission for the 20-goal masked marksman is to leave Liverpool’s Prem dream in tatters.
Jimenez admits he has been dreaming of playing at Anfield since he became gripped by the Reds 14 years ago — when he was a football-daft kid growing up in Tepeji del Rio and tuned in to watch the 2005 Champions League final.
He said: “The Miracle of Istanbul was the most amazing game I’d ever seen — and long before the end I’d decided Liverpool would be my team.
“Fourteen years ago I watched an English team in a big match for the first time and I just thought Liverpool were amazing.
“I didn’t start out that night wanting them to win. I didn’t favour either AC Milan or Liverpool at kick-off but when Milan went 3-0 up I wanted Liverpool to score — just to keep it interesting.
“They not only scored once, they scored again and again.
“Steven Gerrard was amazing and, as everyone knows, Liverpool tied the final at 3-3 then went on to beat Milan on penalties.
“Afterwards, I began to like Liverpool, especially Gerrard, who refused to accept defeat. I really admired that.
“It showed me English players and English teams play until the last second of every match. They never give up.
“They always try to score the next goal — and they defend the goals they score with their lives.
“Gerrard is an all-time favourite of mine and I used to follow him for Liverpool and the England national team.
“He was the captain, their leader and inspiration, along with Frank Lampard, for England.”
Having been weaned on the Miracle of Istanbul, Jimenez never gave up hope that Liverpool could overturn their 3-0 semi-final, first-leg defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday night.
However, even he was stunned at how Jurgen Klopp’s men dismantled the Catalan giants — Messi and all — to claim their place in the Champions League final on June 1.
Speaking at Wolves’ Sir Jack Hayward training complex this week, he said: “I knew Liverpool would be in with a chance because they always give it 100 per cent.
“It took 45 minutes in Istanbul — at Anfield they had 90 minutes.
“My feeling was if they could do it 14 years ago, why can’t they do it again?
“Big, historic football clubs have the ability to come back, even when everything seems lost. There is a strong inner belief within every player and also the fans.”
Manchester City fans will be hoping £32million Jimenez can do them a favour in tomorrow’s final-day showdown at Anfield.
And the Mexican, who has taken the top flight by storm with a club-record 13 Premier League goals in his debut
season in England, admitted: “I know the phrase to go into the lions’ den — and Sunday’s game feels like that now.
“We’re in for a very tough match and it’s going to be extremely difficult, as Barcelona discovered. But we have a very good team and we can cause anyone problems.
“It will be the first time I’ve seen Anfield and I can’t wait to experience playing a team with Liverpool’s incredible history there on such a massive occasion.
“The atmosphere is going to be incredible but I love playing in big games against great players and famous clubs.
“It’s a shame for Liverpool that they already have 94 points — the most in their history — and that they could finish with 97 points and still finish second and lose everything.
That must be difficult for them — to play so well all season and only lose one game in the Premier League yet still potentially come up short because one other team was a little better.”
Jimenez has been hotter than a habanero chili for Wolves this season, scoring 20 goals in total for club and country.
Worryingly for Klopp’s title-chasers, the 28-year-old has previous where they are concerned.
The former Club America, Atletico Madrid and Benfica striker opened the scoring as Wolves beat Liverpool 2-1 at Molineux to send Klopp’s men tumbling out of the FA Cup.
Now, fan or not, he intends to wreck their title hopes, too.
In fact, Jimenez has struck a deal with a former team-mate to enhance seventh-placed Wolves’ chances of qualifying for the Europa League.
He said: “I receive messages on Instagram all the time from Manchester City, Manchester United and Wolves fans, who tell me, ‘You must win’ and, ‘We don’t want Liverpool to win the league so give 100 per cent’.
“It makes me smile because if it was any other team playing at Anfield I would want Liverpool to win.
“But my dream is to score in front of the Kop. I also have a friend at Manchester City who wants me to score, too.
“City goalkeeper Ederson was a team-mate of mine at Benfica so maybe we can do each other a favour.
“If we beat Liverpool it will be Manchester City who win the Premier League.
“He can then do me a favour by helping City beat Watford in the FA Cup final to guarantee Wolves play in next season’s Europa League.”