It certainly is hard to believe that Liverpool faced Hoffenheim in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers nine months ago. It has been an absolute whirlwind of a season and for us, it is not over yet, as Liverpool stand on the precipice of a sixth European title after 14 heavy metal matches, 46 scintillating goals and travelling to Germany, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Manchester and Rome. With their captivating brand of heart stopping football, the mighty Reds have ensured that they have become one of the most feared teams in Europe.
Despite this, the returning champions, Real Madrid, have evidently been too self absorbed throughout the competition as they appear to be underestimating Liverpool, if various comments from their camp are to be believed. However, that should not matter much... It will only make our victory that much sweeter should we thump Madrid and lift number six on the 26th of May in Kyiv.
So, why does our beloved Klopp call our Champions League run crazy?
Because of how we did it. Honestly, I have to say we were a little bit surprised when we won 5-0 against FC Porto, because they’re a top team. It was impressive. I was impressed myself, to be honest.
Then we faced Manchester City, a rival we didn’t want to play against, not only because they are a very strong side, but also because 30 minutes into the game you don’t have the feeling you’re playing in the Champions League anymore. But, of course, it was football of the highest quality. We won in a way that seems pretty incredible and crazy somehow. We won 3-0 at home against City. And we’ve had the feeling throughout the [run] that we could have scored at least two goals per game.
The second leg against City was a very difficult game, of course. And we conceded a goal right at the beginning of the game. But we showed our strength and were able to even win that game, too. That’s also extraordinary.
And then in Rome… the two underdogs playing each other in the semi-finals. We managed to lead 5-0 at home. The number of goals we scored is simply crazy. We’ve scored seven goals twice and five goals twice, too. That’s really [crazy], because we aren’t Barcelona, we aren’t Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.
We aren’t anyone else. We are Liverpool, on the way to becoming a really good team. And performing at such a high level is very cool. To summarize, it’s been a crazy ride. But, after all, we’ve earned our place here.
There are moments…Every person who runs, every person who jogs knows them. There are a few moments that are difficult [to overcome] but when you’ve overcome them, you can go even further for another 30 minutes. All sportsmen know that. In our case, we’ve played in the Champions League without pressure most of the time. We entered the competition for the first time in a while and we quickly realized that we had a good chance.
Despite drawing in Moscow and then [twice] against Sevilla, both at home and away, when we conceded three goals, I thought, ‘OK, we’re ready for the Champions League’. And that helped us all in all. The players started to feel more and more comfortable with our style of play, including finishing our build-up play with shots on target. Football should be more oriented to finishing every attack with a shot on target. And that’s what we do whenever possible. That’s why. We didn’t put a special value on that. It’s just part of the game. When you’re playing close to your opponents’ goal, it’s cool to finish off your attack with a goal.
And it will be even cooler when we finish Real Madrid off next Saturday in Kyiv, Ukraine to the background music of the travelling Kop, singing our European anthem, Allez, Allez, Allez (We’re never gonna stop...).