Jürgen Klopp has guided Liverpool to a major final thrice now after the Reds booked their place in the UEFA Champions League final this past Wednesday. The Reds will face the defending champions, Real Madrid in Kiev, Ukraine on 26 May 2018.
Klopp’s third year anniversary with the club is in October 2018 and despite the club reaching their third final under his tutelage, having lost the first two, Klopp was quick to mention that ‘they don’t hang silver medals at Melwood’. He spoke with LiverpoolFC.com on Friday about reaching the UCL final.
I really think that the whole situation in the club is a really good moment. Yes, I think we are little bit in this direction [closing the gap on Europe’s top clubs] but we are not responsible for the rest. We don’t have an influence on other teams so we don’t think too much about it.But it’s important for us – for bringing new players, for keeping our players – that we really show that and make it clear that that’s our direction. For that, of course it helps massively if you have this obvious sign: being in the Champions League final.
If you don’t win it then nobody will talk about it. But in not even three years we are now in a third final, that’s not bad. Of course we are here to win things but the only way to win things is to go to the final. If you don’t go there, there’s no chance. We are there and it’s just amazing.
Klopp also mentioned the incredible atmosphere and the immense support from our travelling fans at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night and stated that he had no doubt that our Reds would finish the job, despite Roma fighting back in the final twenty minutes.
I don’t have the right words for it, to be honest. When I saw the boys in the dressing room and going out again and I saw the people out there, then I really got it. Since then, it didn’t feel worse! It feels good. When we started the season and started the project, I don’t think that you can plan a Champions League final so we didn’t. But the boys made it possible and made it happen. It’s really cool.
I know the Champions League final is rare if you are not in this moment Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern. I feel the exceptional [nature] of the situation. It’s really nice, I’m really happy. I saw the game and I was not anxious, to be honest. I saw everything and it was clear they had chances but they scored really late. We didn’t play well; we didn’t play as well as we did over the Champions League season. But I was still not anxious – I really felt during the game that it would happen. It was really cool and really special.
Naby Keita officially joins Liverpool from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on 1 July and Klopp will be looking to strengthen our squad in the coming summer transfer window and expects to do quite a bit of business.
Naby has the quality to have a big effect on the team immediately when he arrives. He is not playing the World Cup so he will have a full pre-season with us, which will help him a lot. We will probably sign a couple more players in the summer because we need more depth in the squad. To bring in players who are 200 per cent better than what we have will be difficult but we had a problem when [Philippe] Coutinho left and Adam Lallana and then Emre Can became injured. You can never remove all injury risk and the boys still did brilliantly, but of course we will try to strengthen the squad because that’s how it is.
Our beloved Klopp has been nominated for the Premier League Manager of the Year award. He has been shortlisted with Pep Guardiola (Manchester City), Rafael Benitez (Newcastle United), Sean Dyche (Burnley), Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace) and Chris Hughton (Brighton and Hove Albion).
We can all play our part in the vote (via Facebook), which closes at 12PM BST/8AM EST on Thursday, 10 May 2018 and the winner will be announced on Tuesday May 15 at the LMA awards evening.
To vote for Klopp, click here.