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Monday, May 7, 2018

Liverpool’s Klopp sets mood for Champions final


The German coach of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp, whose team sealed the move to the final of the Champions League on Wednesday, congratulated all his staff and admitted that this result seems "crazy." Liverpool fell 2-4 on Wednesday in the Olympic Stadium against AS Roma, but the 5-2 obtained last week in the first leg allowed his team to get to the final in Kiev (Ukraine), where Real Madrid awaits.

Jurgen Klopp considered that it would have been crazy to go through extra time: “We came as a qualifier and are now in a final. I’m really happy for the boys, the club, the fans. It’s been a fantastic ride so far; now we go to Kiev, which sounds crazy but it’s the truth. We will go to Kiev”, Klopp said at a press conference at the end of the game. After praising his players for always giving their best, Klopp acknowledged that his rival in the final, the two consecutive European champion Real Madrid, is a team with much more international experience with respect to his squad.

The Liverpool manager had sweet words for Roma: “A big compliment for Roma. What a performance, what a comeback, what a great football game. In the high-intense moments, we had brilliant counterattacks but not enough to finish them”. The Roma president, James Pallotta, on the other hand, was not that happy with the Slovenian referee Damir Skomina, which makes this season a highly controversial one. Pallotta said: “It is very clear VAR is needed in the Champions League because you just can’t let stuff like this happen”. For the man in charge of the Italian squad “Liverpool are a great team (…), but if they don’t get VAR in the Champions League, stuff like this is an absolute joke”.

The truth is that PSG, Juventus and more recently, Bayern, have also suffered polemic referee decisions. And the winner has been Real Madrid. Klopp knows which kind of team his players will face. He knows that “there’s still a job to do.” That is why he had shown respect but also a warning: “Going to a final is really nice but winning is even nicer. We will be ready, but it is Real Madrid. You cannot be more experienced in this competition than Real Madrid. I think 80% of their team played all these finals. They are four times in the last five years and still together. They are experienced, we are not, but we will be really on fire.”

After having watched both semifinals, no one seems to agree on which team could take the title. The Spanish team has too much history, and this Liverpool seems hungry for greatness, but both have left several doubts in their respective matches. Jonathan Wilson, in The Guardian has put it this way: “Reason seems of little use here; this will be chaos.”