Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp addressed the media today ahead of his side’s big Champions League clash against Real Madrid at Anfield tomorrow. Klopp gave updates on his team’s health, how special it is to play against Real Madrid, and much more:
Playing Real Madrid once again
“These are different matches. Real are one of the biggest clubs in the world. We played that final in Paris and I haven’t seen it since this weekend. Now I know why I didn’t see it (laughs)! But I had to do it. We played a good game, but we couldn’t win. In that game you can see Real Madrid’s experience, they don’t lose it even if the opponent has chances. That’s what you can learn from them”
Will Darwin Nuñez play?
“There is a chance he can play. We have to see how he is today. When we know we will make a decision”
Is it good timing to play Real Madrid?
“We have to play a super match. Two super matches to be honest, to get through. I have no problem with that. Who cares, it’s the Champions League, I’m very happy that we can play this match now in instead of a few weeks ago. It’s very special and I can’t wait. Madrid don’t need to play special and can still have options to win.
“We’ve came back to look like a lot more of a team, but we still have to prove that point. We need results, that’s without a doubt. We were in a similar situation right after the World Cup: two wins, but now it looks different. We feel it and we see it”
The importance of Anfield
“We always work hard to qualify for the Champions League and I really think you have to cherish it in these moments. It will be a special game. I hope Anfield are on their toes, to be honest. They saw us in better shape the last two games and they have things to expect.”
On Carlo Ancelotti
“I think they told me after the final that Carlo said he knew exactly what we would do. But we should have won that game. Carlo is the most relaxed manager I’ve ever met and one of the nicest people you can meet. Super smart, I respect and admire him a lot. They have a world class team and they brought in super exciting young players.”
How difficult will this game be?
“Real Madrid are always super competitive and super hard to beat. But it makes all the sense in the world to try to beat them anyway (laughs)”
Is is possible to make Real Madrid panic?
“I don’t think you can make this team panic. The chances we had, the saves they had to make (in the final). We weren’t adventurous enough, we protected ourselves too much. Analyzing it now is very easy: we were able to make the pass, do things... but it’s Real Madrid. We can’t play this game without respecting them. They are absolutely world class. It’s a well-worked team and that’s why it’s so difficult. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”
On Vinicius Jr
“Nothing in the world can justify that kind of racist reaction. As far as I know, he’s a world-class player, You shouldn’t leave him in one-on-one situations. I’m sure he will end up becoming a Real Madrid legend.”
How will he stop Real Madrid?
“You can try to deny them passes but the problem we have is that if you can defend Vinicius well, then there is Benzema or Rodrygo or whoever. If you manage to defend these three... then there is Modric. They have world-class players, you have to defend them collectively. That’s what we will try.”