Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Klopp: Reds are best team I have taken to a final



Klopp: Reds are best team I have taken to a final

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp takes part in a training session at the Melwood Training ground in Liverpool, northwest England on May 28, 2019. AFP

Klopp: Reds are best team I have taken to a final

Jurgen Klopp says his current Liverpool team are the strongest side he has taken to a final as he plots Champions League glory against Premier League rivals Tottenham on Saturday.

Liverpool are preparing for their second successive Champions League final after a run that included an incredible comeback to overturn a three-goal first-leg deficit against Barcelona in the semi-final by winning 4-0 at Anfield.

It will be Klopp’s fourth European final as a manager, having been a Champions League runner-up with Borussia Dortmund in 2013, before losing the Europa League final with Liverpool in 2016.

Their run to Madrid this year has been marked by a never-say-die spirit, with Klopp suggesting that his team of 2019 is better than those that have lost his three previous European finals.

“I don’t like to blame my other teams [for the European final defeats],” said Klopp, whose side lost out to Real Madrid in the final last year.

“I love them all. They all gave everything but I have never been part of a final with a better team than this.

“I am not so surprised by this because our boys mix our potential with attitude in the best way I have witnessed. That is brilliant.”

Asked if Saturday’s final marked the pinnacle of his career, the manager, whose side finished a single point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League, said: “If I win it, yes. It would be different to the last finals.

“Is bringing the team to the Champions League final the biggest moment in my career? No, that was 2004, getting promoted with Mainz. If you had known the money we had, the circumstances we had . . . and the fact was that nobody needed us in the first league.

“If I win the Champions League, though, I will have to think about this question again.”

Klopp is hopeful that forward Roberto Firmino will be fit to play a part in Saturday’s final, having missed the final three matches of the season with a muscle issue.

Midfielder Naby Keita, however, will not recover from his adductor injury in time to face Tottenham.

“Bobby was part of training last week, really good, everything looked fine. He will be fine, I am pretty sure.”

Klopp expects a close contest against a Tottenham side that Liverpool beat home and away in the Premier League during the season, winning 2-1 on both occasions.

He said: “It will be very tight. The quality of Tottenham and us is pretty similar. The distance between us is consistency.

“Emotions will be completely different. You have to use the emotions but in the right circumstances. Bringing ourselves in the right mood is the job we have to do.

“We know about Tottenham a lot but after three weeks [without a game to prepare], I would have known the name of the groundsman of Barcelona if they had been the opponent.

“We know it is difficult, Tottenham know it is difficult, so let’s play a difficult game and let’s win it.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the