Milner: Finals pain helped Reds push on, win UCL
Liverpool's ability to transform the pain of losing finals into motivation to push on underpinned their Champions League victory, according to James Milner.
The Reds lifted their first trophy of the Jurgen Klopp era with a 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid -- the club's sixth European Cup -- having been runners-up in their three previous showpieces.
Liverpool lost the League Cup on penalties to Manchester City in 2016, before succumbing to Sevilla in the Europa League final that May. Last year, they suffered a 3-1 Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev, and Milner believes those experiences helped the side get over the line against Spurs.
"In the manager's first year, we got to the League Cup final and the Europa League final and narrowly lost both, but look at the team then to now," the vice-captain said postmatch at the Wanda Metropolitano.
"Look at how we've learned to play and manage games and get results even when not playing particularly well. We could always beat anyone before, but then the following week we could look like a completely different team and that's slowly gone out.
"Every time we play now you know it's Liverpool you are watching. That's credit to the manager and the players. We need to keep learning and keep winning trophies. We've been through a lot of pain losing finals.
"Last year, getting to the final in Kiev and then we got to another one this year, which shows the heart and the balls this team has to go and do that again, especially what happened in the semifinals against Barcelona.
"I think the experiences and disappointments we've gone through, it's helped us become the team we are and deal with ups and downs and weather the storm like we did here."
Milner feels the Champions League success can spark a silverware-lined period for Liverpool, just as landing the FA Cup in 2011 did for City.
"Getting the first trophy under our belt is massive," he said. "If these scenes don't make you hungry to win more, then I don't know what will.
"When I was at City and we won the first FA Cup, that was massive for us and that gave us the belief and the winning mentality that we can do it, and hopefully this will be the same.
"Every day we go into Melwood and see that number five on the board. They'll need to get someone in to change it to a No. 6, and that's massive.
"We're making our own history."
Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson revealed Liverpool's players held a meeting in the build-up to the big game.
"I think we would have regretted it if we didn't have the talk about our experiences," Henderson said.
"I felt it was important to speak as a group before the final. A few of us said a few things.
"It was just about the game, really, what we could experience in the game and how to deal with them situations and obviously use the experiences that we have."
Liverpool were not at their best against Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano, but they displayed greater game management and surety on Saturday evening.
"We have come back from so many disappointments," Henderson said. "We have finally got over the line to win a big trophy.
"It is an amazing night and hopefully we can use this to win more in the future.
"The fans have been incredible ever since I have come to the club, but these past couple of years, they have travelled everywhere with us in Europe and it costs them a lot of money -- this makes it all worth it.
"I am so proud of this team. I am also happy we can give something back to the fans, who give everything."