Klopp realising a dream of having ‘world-class’ team

Jurgen Klopp has overseen a great improvement since becoming Liverpool manager and he is relishing challenging for major titles.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp feels he is realising a long-held dream of coaching a “world-class” team that challenges for titles.

The Reds have developed into one of Europe’s best teams since Klopp took charge in 2015, with the German helping them produce entertaining, attack-minded football.

Last season they were runners-up in the Champions League, but only just managed to secure a top-four finish domestically.

However, this term they have transferred their European form to the Premier League and are in a tussle with Manchester City for the title, while they also face Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals.

A semi-final against either bitter rivals Manchester United or Barcelona awaits if they defeat Porto over two legs, and Klopp agrees with the idea that the Reds are now a team Europe’s best would hope to avoid.

“That’s true,” he told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s first-leg clash at home to Porto. “It’s a combination of things. In good games – we don’t talk about average games – we defend really well and we can really play football.

“When I was a young manager I was always dreaming of having a team of world-class players with the attitude of a proper challenger.

“That is actually what I love and we showed that, especially in the Champions League, very often. We love the competition, that’s how it is.

“We want to go there and it’s now clear that we are qualified again for the Champions League next year. That was a real moment. Cool.

“It didn’t happen too often [qualifying for the Champions League in recent years], especially not to the boys, and now having these games with this special attitude the team can create, in this special stadium with a crowd that create an atmosphere, it is really a place you want to be part of.

“The best way is as a supporter watching the game, but you wouldn’t want to be the opponent. That is exactly how it should be. This [Anfield] is one of the toughest places to go at the moment and I hope we can show that again.”

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