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Klopp Talk: “Big Heart and Football Skills”

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The boss has his say as Liverpool makes history.

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Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Where were you when Liverpool made history by engineering the most dramatic Champions League semifinal comeback in the history of the competition?

I’ll tell you where I was: in a series of lines waiting to pick up some free food. See, I’m a teacher during breaks from Liverpool matches, and it’s Teacher Appreciation Day here in the United States. So: free food from restaurants, and you better believe I’m all about that hustle.

There’s more to it than that, though. I’m also obsessively superstitious, and because Liverpool were playing so well with me not watching the match, I felt going home would ruin the juju. So I ran my errands instead. And that’s how I ended up crying in line at Chipotle, clutching my phone and frantically refreshing Twitter.

And I swear, I swear, I could hear Anfield all the way from there, the crowd was so loud.

Manager Jürgen Klopp, as ever, described it best post-game:

“If I have to describe this club then it’s a big heart and tonight it was obviously like crazy, pounding like crazy. You could hear it and probably feel it all over the world. I’m so happy we could give the people this experience and I’m really happy about having another chance to get things right from our point of view.”

Now the Reds are heading to Madrid for a second consecutive Champions League final against either Ajax or Spurs, who need a comeback of their own to make it into the big game.

What a time to be a Liverpool fan. I know that’s an understatement, but my throat is hoarse and the teenage girl making me my burrito bowl had to pretend not to notice me shaking, cut me a little slack.

“What the boys did – this mix, again, of big heart and football skills – is unbelievable,” Klopp gushed. “But then, how we know – and we didn’t learn it in the first game, we knew it before already – if you have chances you have to score because otherwise you get punished. Tonight we scored, in different ways.

“I said it so often now, the thing that made it really possible – and I said to the boys before the game, ‘I don’t think it’s possible but because it’s you I think we have a chance’ – is because they are really mentality giants.”

The best part about this result is that it extends this already magical season one more game. No one knows what Sunday will bring, but I couldn’t care less right now. Liverpool are in the Champions League final. They performed another miracle inside the walls of Anfield, the likes of which hasn’t been seen before. Up the Reds!