Liverpool's spot in the Champions League final has come as a complete surprise to former midfielder Craig Johnston, who is "amazed" as the Reds attempt to dethrone Real Madrid.
Jurgen Klopp's high-flying Liverpool will go head-to-head with two-time reigning champions Madrid in Kiev on Saturday, the Anfield side looking to top the European summit for the first time since the 'Miracle of Istanbul' in 2005.
Liverpool finished fourth in the Premier League this season but have dazzled in Europe – unbeaten until their semi-final second-leg defeat to Roma as they earned a showdown against the Spanish giants, having crushed Manchester City en route to the showpiece.
Klopp, who is yet to win silverware since replacing Brendan Rodgers in 2015, has been on a long-term mission to establish Liverpool among the English and European elite but Johnston has been caught off guard by the club's run to the final.
Johnston – a five-time league winner and European Cup and FA Cup champion during Liverpool's dominance in the 1980s – told Omnisport: "I am surprised because it's been such a long time. You look at the list of the people they beat along the way, and how they beat them and the amount of goals they scored.
"I think there were five goals for each match. The answer is yeah, I was like: 'wow! where did this come from?' I think it came from the good form that Liverpool do show in the league from time to time. But living on a knife-edge, like the Roma replay, it just makes such exciting stuff. Probably if you're not a Liverpool fan. If you are it's like heart-stopping stuff.
"I'm very surprised to see them there. I'm amazed and it's marvellous and good on them."
Madrid struggled domestically, finishing third and 17 points adrift of LaLiga winners Barcelona, however Zinedine Zidane's men are only one win away from a third successive Champions League crown and 13th in total.
Johnston conceded Liverpool face a difficult task against the European masters but the Australian insisted the high-octane Reds are more than capable of stopping Cristiano Ronaldo and the defending champions in a "goal-fest".
"I think there's no doubt given the amount of medals Madrid have won and their history in the tournament, that is an enormous benefit to them," the 57-year-old added.
"Just looking through the stats and the medals the current squad have won, like 40 and Liverpool? Zero. So in the squad, you have 40 cup winners' medals compared to none. What a marvellous gap in experience of winning titles like this.
"Then you see the stat that Zidane has won his last six finals and Klopp has lost his five. So you say oh my goodness, on experience there is only one team in this. Then you think of Liverpool on fire and you think if anyone can beat them. As Klopp said, they will be on fire. I think he has read the tea leaves. That's what they will have to be to beat this very accomplished and experienced European Cup-winning giant."
Johnston continued: "It's absolutely critical [to stop Ronaldo] like if you're Madrid you'll say it's critical to nullify [Mohamed] Salah… then there's [Sadio] Mane and [Roberto] Firmino.
"They are both very attack-minded teams. Given the history of both teams, it could be a real goal-fest like 4-3 or 5-4. They're both vulnerable at the back."
|Cech accepts performances key to securing Arsenal stay|
|Monchi rules out Spain return amid Barcelona rumours|
|Durham skittled for 61 and 66 on the same day|
|Kane isn´t a machine – Lamela defends misfiring Spurs star|
|Hazard left out of Chelsea squad for PAOK trip|
|Tiger feels close to ending drought after achieving Tour Championship goal|
|Leno in line for Arsenal chance in Europa League|
|Gazidis leaves Arsenal in good shape, insists Emery|
|Eagles bring back WR Matthews, place Wallace on IR|
|England include Stokes, Hales and uncapped seamer Stone in ODI squad|
|Suwon Bluewings 0 Jeonbuk Motors 3 (aet, 4-2 on penalties): Quarter-final comeback ends in spot-kick|
|Australia captain Paine ready to slog it out with Pakistan|
|Nadal pulls out of China Open & Shanghai Masters with knee injury|
|Ostapenko begins Korea Open defence with victory|
|Joshua v Povetkin: How Olympic super heavyweight champions have fared|
|Liverpool ´made a point´ with PSG victory - Gomez|
|Osaka wows Tokyo crowd on WTA return|
|Excited Povetkin arrives in England for Joshua showdown|
|Kovac patience with Sanches set to reap rewards|
|Kovac: Madrid strong without Ronaldo, Messi is the best|
|ATP suspends umpire Lahyani over Kyrgios ´pep talk´ at US Open|
|North and South Korea seek to co-host 2032 Olympics|
|Ampadu signs long-term Chelsea contract|
|Don´t blame Neymar, PSG players all guilty - Thiago Silva|
|Real Madrid seek to plug Ronaldo scoring gap – Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Brewers allow Cardinals to inch closer with loss to Reds|
|Manchester is still red – Depay ahead of Lyon´s clash with City|
|Orioles become first pro team to wear braille jerseys|
|Klopp hails ´brilliant´ Henderson|
|PSG attack lacked aggression, says Tuchel|
|Atletico Tucuman 0 Gremio 2: Libertadores holders draw first blood in QFs|
|Thomas plays down wrist worry|
|Rakitic wants more from Barcelona hat-trick hero Messi|
|My players aren´t s*** – Pochettino defends Spurs squad|
|Cubs reliever Morrow won´t return this season|
|Tebow expected to be back in Mets organisation next season|
|Inter can compete against anyone – Icardi revels in Champions League victory|
|Tuchel: PSG loss to Liverpool not logical or correct|
|Sturridge in best shape I´ve seen – Klopp|
|Milojevic celebrates ´fantastic´ occasion after Red Star´s 26-year wait|
|Rodrigo and Simeone salute Griezmann display|
|Seahawks DE Clark on Bears QB Trubisky: He´s nothing special|
|Carroll says Wilson has been ´over-trying a little bit´|
|Judge returns to Yankees´ starting lineup|
|Napoli boss Ancelotti takes aim at Red Star time wasting|
|Favre admits young Dortmund stars struggled in Bruges|
|Otavio would trade goal for Porto victory as he bemoans Schalke draw|
|Championship Review: Pacesetters Leeds crush Preston, Villa end five-game winless run|
|Neymar world-class but not a defender - Klopp says Liverpool targeted PSG star|
|Waiters injury update: Heat guard unlikely to be ready for start of season|
|Gojowczyk eliminates returning Tsonga in Metz|
|Liverpool enjoying best start in 57 years after PSG win|
|Galatasaray 3 Lokomotiv Moscow 0: Terim´s side make light work of Russians|
|Club Brugge 0 Borussia Dortmund 1: Super sub Pulisic scores late winner|
|Schalke 1 Porto 1: Fahrmann saves one penalty, but Otavio scores another|
|Red Star Belgrade 0 Napoli 0: Points shared as Italians fail to make possession pay|
|Liverpool 3 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Firmino strikes late as Reds edge five-goal thriller|
|Monaco 1 Atletico Madrid 2: Costa and Gimenez seal comfortable win|
|Chaos reigns in Serie B as league denies suspension claim|
|India secure Asia Cup victory despite valiant Hong Kong effort|
|Messi makes "extraordinary routine", says Valverde after Barca star surpasses Ronaldo|
|Spalletti´s Inter to take heart from Tottenham turnaround|
|Casillas features in landmark 20th Champions League campaign|
|Spurs deserved more from best performance of the season - Pochettino|
|Brown absent from Steelers facility on Monday due to ´personal matter´|
|Toronto´s Bussey given eight-match biting ban|
|Barcelona 4 PSV 0: Marvellous Messi lights up Camp Nou|
|Inter 2 Tottenham 1: Icardi, Vecino complete dramatic late turnaround|
|Allegri, Chiellini defend Costa over spitting ban|
|Firmino only fit enough for bench duty|