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Jürgen Klopp Says It’s “Nice” to Be in the Champions League Semi-Final

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Having made it to the Champions League semi-finals brings unexpected pressure. But it’s a nice kind of pressure.

Liverpool Press Conference Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

If you’d asked people to predict the Champions League semi-finalists back in the autumn, it’s likely neither Liverpool nor Roma would have cracked any neutral or pundit’s top ten. Both sides are here now, though, and will be determined to make the most of it.

They also both have fully earned their place at this stage in Europe’s top cup competition according to Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp, pointing to their victories over two of the tournament favourites in the last round of the competition as proof of that.

“I’m not interested in what people think about the quarter-finals and I guess a lot people thought it would be Barcelona against Manchester City here,” Klopp noted at his pre-match press conference today. “But both ourselves and Roma deserve to be here.

“Maybe our situations are similar but we both have big challenges and big competition in our leagues. Now it is our job to show our best. It is what we try to do constantly. We both have a chance to go to the final and that is pressure, but that it is possible is nice.”

It’s pressure because, now that they’re here, winning and going to the finals and perhaps even that is a realistic possibility, and to that end 538’s algorithms—based on performances to date in the league and Europe—say Liverpool have a one in four shot right now.

A one in four chance to win the Champions League is both an opportunity and immense pressure given how difficult it is for even the favourites to make it this far. But focus on the opportunity, and focus just on the next match, and anything is possible.

“We have to focus on this game with Roma, not what it would mean if we go through,” Klopp added. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”