Klopp responds to Alexander-Arnold claim, reveals admiration for Simeone

Date published: Monday 17th February 2020 7:52

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had his say on recent comments by Brazilian legend Cafu, and referenced an Arnold Schwarzenegger film when speaking on the personality of Atletico counterpart Diego Simeone.

The Reds will look to continue their epic domestic form on Tuesday night as the Champions League knockout rounds get underway.

Klopp’s men have been handed the difficult task of overcoming recent two-time finalists Atletico Madrid, with Simeone’s men characterised by their rugged and tenacious win-at-all-costs style of play.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the match, Klopp admitted defeating Atleti over two legs will be no simple task.

“This is one of the most difficult fixtures in the life of a football player,” said the German.

“Really well organised, squeezing results. They are in a transition period, that’s normal, but they are fighting with all they have. It’s really difficult.

“Atletico haven’t played as bad this season as people are saying. A result machine.”

Despite being aware of the difficulty of the task that awaits them, Klopp was in confident mood regarding his own side’s capabilities having reached consecutive finals in the last two years, emerging victorious over Tottenham eight months ago.

“When you are in the final it’s nice, especially when you win it,” said Klopp.

“We see ourselves as a team who can go to finals, who can win the competitions.

 

“We’re not the only one, but one of them. As a team, we have the chance to do something. We try to show this.

“Atletico have speed, [are] aggressive, have a clear philosophy. I know we are in the country of tiki-taka, but I admire things like that. For me, it’s all fine.

“Some our best games (in the Champions League) were away.

“Bayern away was one of best games I’ve witnessed. Barcelona was, even though we lost. We are a proper threat. That doesn’t mean it will be like that again.

“If there’s one team where you have to be at absolute best, it’s Atletico. They give you absolutely no presents.

“If you work as hard as possible, you have a chance. If you don’t do that, you have no chance. There’s a reason they were in so many European finals.

“Atletico are a clear, proper machine. Whatever happens, they are there. They close you down and counter-attack. If you are not focused on your attacking, you won’t have a shot on target.

” But they haven’t played against a team like us. We shouldn’t forget that.

 

“We are organised as well, we play football, we have different aspects of game. We don’t feel like the winner of CL last season, we are one of the contenders for this year. We want to be in Istanbul.”

His counterpart in the opposite dugout will be the ever-determined Argentine Simeone.

The Atleti boss has become synonymous with touchline antics as Simeone cuts an extremely animated figure from first whistle to last.

When quizzed on comparisons between the two, Klopp joked: “People say I’m emotional on touchline, but if I’m level 4 then Diego is level 12. I’m the kindergarten cop compared to him!

“Diego’s teams are always world class organised, that makes him one of the best. We have met once or twice, exchanged some messages after big defeats or big wins. It’s our first competitive meeting, it will be interesting!”

Brazilian legend Cafu recently revealed his admiration for Liverpool’s defensive ace Trent Alexander-Arnold.

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The 142-times capped international backed the Reds full-back to one day pick up the presitgous Ballon d’Or trophy, and Klopp responded to the high praise.

“Cafu obviously thinks a right-back should win it! I couldn’t admire Trent more,” added Klopp.

“It’s a very positive message from Cafu but can only cause problems if it’s ‘Klopp says this, Klopp says that’.

“He has big potential, but if Trent can win Ballon d’Or, I have no idea.

“I have no idea if Trent will win the Ballon d’Or, but thank you Cafu for being a really nice fella!”

Meanwhile, one pundit has echoed Klopp’s thoughts and laimed the Reds’ clash with Atletico Madrid will be a “brutal” encounter.

 

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