In Dortmund one gets the sense they are thrilled to be in the semifinal and, with apologies to Evelyn Waugh, there's a nursery-school freshness to it all. Last week's non-story-story of Mourinho telling Klopp he was talking too much (he didn't quite say that, or not in so many words) was only made possible by the fact that Klopp has been talking - and with great enthusiasm - about the tie.
This enthusiasm about the whole affair extends to the other tie as well,with hilarious results back in Germany. For the record on the day of the draw Klopp said he couldn't imagine Bayern Munich not consulting Pep Guardiola. "I'll bet my arse they will..."
As Raphael Honigstein pointed out, this being Bayern meant there were various opinions on it (Franz Beckenbauer: "Of course, why not?") but the best response was still Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: "It would have been better for Klopp to bet his hair, as he has some more to transplant. But I fear his arse will end up in our museum."
Marca arrived to interview the man and his transplants in Dortmund this week. The following (incomplete) translation is by me.
On his coaching style:
I'm a happy person...I'm 45 years old and people keep asking when I'm going to grow up. I don't want to be Guardiola, Mourinho or Heyneckes, I just want to be myself. I feel very young and my personality gives me a connection to my players...I don't wish to imitate anyone...I do not like to be the centre of attention, I am not a celebrity.
On Dortmund's chances:
I have 2 or 3 of the best players in Europe...The favourites in this tie are Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid...last year they were the favourites too and Chelsea were not favourites, but look who won...It's historic for us to be here. The boys and I want to make history...
We have good memories the prior meeting but I feel Madrid is stronger now [since the last meeting] and has fewer important players missing. People think of Madrid as a counter-attacking team because of the speed of their transitions, but they are not a counter-attacking team. They are a team that like to have the ball and their players have great technical ability.
On Cristiano Ronaldo:
He'll have to be stopped!
On what he thinks will win the game:
Over 180 minutes there is no key to the match. We will play as we know best, with spirit and enthusiasm.
On his future:
I can say this with certainty, and assure my players I will be with Dortmund next year.
As noted, this is a highly incomplete translation of the highlights of this interview.
The Spanish version (much longer, highly recommended) can be found here.
Marca's much, much shorter translation of their own work can be found here.