When Lionel Messi announced at the start of the season that it is Barcelona’s time to win the Champions League, little did he know he’d offended Liverpool coach, Jurgen Klopp.
Well, Barca and Liverpool go head to head in a Champions League blockbuster semifinal clash tonight and Klopp said he wasn’t cool with Messi’s take.
The German coach, who also reflected on the importance of Wednesday’s first leg against the Blaugrana and other issues, said they need to focus on more than the mythical no 10.
“It’s not only about Messi,” Klopp noted in Liverpool’s pre-match press conference.
“Can we concentrate on Messi? We should, in some moments. But then they have 10 world class players around who can decide the game.
“Messi said before the season he wanted to bring back this cup. That sounded like a threat to me!
“We want to go to the final as well.
“A draw [on Wednesday] would not be the worst result in the world. So many people came to play Barcelona and had a plan and then they got a proper knock. We saw the game against Real Sociedad, they did well, Levante did well, but Barcelona won.”
Klopp went on to discuss Liverpool’s chances to win both the Champions League and the Premier League.
“We have a chance in both competitions and we have to play these games, but I don’t get how people think a game is lost before it’s played,” he said.
“We have to play them and at the moment I don’t know what’s [the best] chance to win [out of the Champions League or Premier League].”
Philippe Coutinho moved to Barcelona back in 2018 and Klopp has claimed that the Reds miss the Brazilian.
“Yes, we miss Phil a lot because he’s a world-class player and I loved working with him, but we have done well without him,” he noted.
“I am happy to see him again and it’s up to [Ernesto] Valverde whether he is going to start.”