Jurgen Klopp has talked up Liverpool’s chances of success in the Europa League ahead of their semi-final first leg clash with Villarreal on Thursday.
Klopp is keen to establish a trophy-winning mentality at Anfield and believes success in the Europa League – a competition he values extremely highly – can kickstart that winning feeling.
Ahead of the clash with the Spaniards, Klopp pointed to their quarter-final comeback against his former club Borussia Dortmund, saying about the Reds’ prospects: “I feel there is a power at this club.
“I felt it when we played Dortmund at Anfield and I saw it in the streets before the game. I believe that there are some clubs who are always more likely to win trophies than other clubs.
“I don’t know where that comes from, but I felt it for the first time when I was at Dortmund. Michael Zorc [sporting director at BVB] told me when Bayer Leverkusen were breathing down our necks at the end of one season that I shouldn’t worry.
“He said they wouldn’t win because Leverkusen never win and that Dortmund were a club that wins titles. I feel that at Liverpool, and I think the supporters do too.”
Klopp talks up Europa League
The German also insisted that winning the Europa League should not be considered a lesser feat, despite the competition’s reputation in the English game.
“I heard that the image of the Europa League was not good in England and I don’t really understand why,” Klopp said.
“The players have liked it, and I would have been happy with the Europa League even if we’d gone out in the quarter-finals. It was a nice journey, a good experience.
“Usually you work the whole year to go to Europe so to be in it was a nice bonus. I know the top four is the top four, but if you are fifth, take it, use it, do whatever. I like playing matches, whatever the competition.”