Jurgen Klopp is preparing his Liverpool side to take on his former club, a clash he regards as ‘a best friend he wants to beat more than greet’ When informed a German television station will dedicate its first leg coverage to a ‘Kloppcam’, Klopp was livid.
“You see how crazy the world is? I can’t believe it but if it is true I have to think about whether I will really talk with this television station in my life again. I’m pretty sure I will not. Maybe they will think about that. I am fine with the draw, with the game, with everything – but I am not too happy with the stories around me personally. I don’t need it but I can’t avoid it.”
The fans obviously would be looking forward to welcome their former boss to his former base,the Signa Iduna park where he won two Bundlesliga titles but obviously, the fans have to understand he always want to win.
“There’s no fear from one or the other side, it’s about knowledge and knowing – they know that’s how it is,” said Klopp.“The players know my story with this team started with beating favourites. It was not clicking your fingers and happening overnight and becoming number one in the Bundesliga. We started making problems for other teams. Then we developed it.
In this game the only thing is I know a little bit more – that does not matter too much but it is better than nothing and they know about me.
“You can tell the Dortmund players what they want and the night before the game if they’re alone in their room and start thinking perhaps it’s like ‘we started like this, no one had big expectations.’ That’s the truth. It could happen.”Klopp’s response to the idea he would not indulge in his trademark celebration should Liverpool win is both refreshing and reassuring.
When asked if he was going to be celebrating against his former club, he said.“I will not go there and take some pills that mean I won’t celebrate a goal,I will celebrate of course. I did it when I came back to Mainz with Dortmund, and I was there for 18 years. After seven years they know me well enough that if my team should score I will celebrate if it’s important and if it’s decisive.I did everything for Mainz, I did everything for Dortmund and now I do everything for Liverpool – it is like it is. It’s a game, even if people are not always aware of it.We all started playing football against our best friends and I can’t remember a moment where because it was my best friend I did not want to win against him.That is absolutely bullsh*t. For me, the private personal stress will be when I meet people who I know and I like and I don’t have time to speak with them. It is nice to see them but it is the wrong moment. I can’t handle the situation perfectly for them – I go in, do my job and go home – but maybe in a few years I come back and maybe we will talk about this or not.
Klopp reveals he had no problems with noone at Dortmund and doesn’t have issues with anyone trying to relate with him,“I have no problem if someone wants to hug me – if I know him! I had no bad moment in my relationship with Dortmund. Not one second. Now I go back I don’t know what the people think but no-one has to show me they know about our positive past because I know about it”.
In other Europa League matches, Atletic Bilbao takes on Sevilla, Sporting Braga takes on Shaktar Doneskt and Villareal takes on Sparta Prague.