‘The best team I’ve ever had’: Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on his Liverpool squad, saying they are confident ahead of the Champions League final
- Liverpool play Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final on Saturday
- Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is confident, saying they’re the best team he’s had
- The Reds are favourites, but tasted defeat to Real Madrid in the final last year
Jurgen Klopp issued a rallying cry before Saturday’s Champions League final by claiming Liverpool are mentally stronger this year.
The German claimed his team is the ‘best I’ve ever had,’ and believes the Reds are ready to lay the ghosts of the defeat by Real Madrid to rest.
Klopp looked at his squad with heads bowed while boarding their flight in Ukraine and knew they would be driven to quickly return to a European final.
Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on his Liverpool squad saying it is ‘the best team I’ve ever had’
The Liverpool boss has tasted Champions League final defeat twice before, and is keen to win
Liverpool are the favourites for the Champions League final against Tottenham on Saturday
‘The year before we wanted to be in Kiev, this year we want to win it. That’s the difference,’ Klopp said ahead of the all-English clash with Tottenham.
‘It’s had a big influence on us. I remember that situation when we stood in the queue at Kiev on the way home. Heads down, very frustrated. You weren’t allowed to be angry. There were a lot of different emotions. But the plan was: we’ll come again. We’ll be there again. Now we are.
‘Each team who lost a final will think about putting it right. We have the chance to do that. That was the kick-start for the development of this team. This team doesn’t compare to the team last year.
Liverpool lost in the Champions League final to Real Madrid, something they’re keen to rectify
‘These boys want to be there. It’s not like “oh, it’s coming up” and we get scared. We are a completely different team to last year.
‘It’s the best team I’ve ever had. Last year we conceded strange goals. It was nothing to do with performance. Three really strange goals.’ Klopp agreed victory in his third Champions League final – he also lost against Bayern Munich while Borussia Dortmund manager in 2012 – will be the biggest achievement of his career.
The 51-year-old suggested it would overtake his greatest triumph to date – promotion to the Bundesliga back in 2004.
‘If I win it, yes,’ he added. ‘My biggest moment was getting Mainz promoted in 2004, if you knew the money we had then nobody needed us in the top league. Winning the Champions League with Liverpool would be new, but at the moment winning promotion with Mainz.
Klopp says that winning the Champions League will be his biggest achievement to date
‘This chance gives us all excitement. The best moment for the final would’ve been five minutes after we beat Barcelona. The mood in the team is brilliant. The work-rate and attitude. The best piece of character of this team is the constant readiness for development.’ Liverpool go in as favourites – and Roberto Firmino is fighting to prove his fitness – but Klopp insisted that will count for nothing in Madrid.
‘We’ve probably got more experience but Poch is probably right, it doesn’t make any difference,’ he said.
‘It’s about using the things that brought to the final. We’ve controlled our emotions really well. It’s pure excitement. We’re really looking forward to it and being really happy to have that chance. That’s what we wanted after last year.’