We love the UEFA Champions League and all its stardom, but the highlight of this week’s European slight may very well be in the Europa League.
That’s because Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp returns to a place where he’s royalty: the Westfalenstadion at Borussia Dortmund. Klopp led BVB to a UEFA Champions League final and won a pair of Bundesliga crowns while picking up wins in more than 56 percent of his matches.
The familiarity that comes with that has led many, including yours truly, to believe Liverpool has an improved chance to knock off the Germans over two legs.
But Klopp says, “Not so fast”. From LiverpoolFC.com:
“We know a little bit more about the players there, that’s the truth, but that’s not the most important thing. It’s good, but it’s not that important that we can say ‘I know he always turns left’ or something like this. They are really good, they are a brilliant side and react in a situation, so they don’t play the same all the time.”
Klopp also said the visit to Germany is going to tax him emotionally. That’s not because he’ll be wistful for his time at BVB, but because he’s going to run into a lot of people he knows and not properly be able to catch up:
“I know nearly every person at Dortmund. So when I leave the [team] bus, it’s only 20 or 30 metres to the dressing room, but I’ll meet 40 or 50 people I know and haven’t seen in nine months, so what does it mean to a normal person? If you have no time to say hello, to talk, to speak or whatever, that’s a little bit stressful. But it’s only for me and it’s not a problem. I don’t like the things around the game too much, but I am really looking forward to the game.”
So are we, Jurgen. So are we!