Champions League

Clock is ticking but Klopp keeps dreams in check

2018-04-11 21:24
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

Manchester - Jurgen Klopp admits the clock is ticking on his target of winning a trophy within the first four years of his Liverpool tenure but after eliminating Manchester City he says he dare not dream that it will be the Champions League.

The 50-year-old German refuses to contemplate a sixth European crown for the historic club even after they beat the runaway Premier League leaders 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter-final to reach their first Champions League semi-final for a decade.

In his first season, Klopp guided Liverpool to the 2016 Europa League final where they lost to Sevilla but he is now contemplating a leap upwards in terms of quality of opposition.

"I said (at his unveiling as Liverpool manager) if I sit here in four years probably we won something, otherwise it's not possible," Klopp told reporters after the 2-1 second-leg victory over Pep Guardiola's team on Tuesday.

"It's now two and a half years and I still haven't won anything so time is running."

Klopp, who guided Borussia Dortmund to the 2013 Champions League final where they lost to bitter German rivals Bayern Munich, says it is far too early to claim Liverpool can be the equals of European giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Bayern and Real are potential semi-final opponents should they come through their quarter-finals unscathed on Wednesday. And a huge obstacle to all the teams' chances of lifting the trophy was removed on Tuesday with AS Roma's miraculous dismantling of Barcelona.

"I have absolutely no interest in comparing us. Barca, Bayern, Real Madrid they win everything in the past 20 years," said Klopp.

"You don't become a winner overnight."

Liverpool do of course have a rich Champions League history, most recently with the miraculous comeback in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan in Istanbul, although the Italians gained revenge in the final two years later.

Klopp says his side are still a work in progress.

A big step in that direction has come with his gamble to outlay a world record fee for a defender to acquire Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman has added much-needed defensive solidity.

"We can only develop," said Klopp. "This competition is unbelievably strong.

"I don't care who is in (the draw), we are there and we deserved it and so far we fought for each opportunity to get it and then used it.

"That's what we will do (in the semis) but the other sides are not without their ambitions."

However, the laidback side of Klopp - he admits he finds time to be a bookworm - is reflected in how he felt he would have preferred to have watched the match.

"You cannot imagine how much intensity you feel before a game like this," he said.

"Everybody wrote me a message: 'I will watch the game here, there, I'll have a beer together with friends'.

"I would really like to do that as well sometimes, drink beer and watch a Champions League game. Unfortunately it is all work."

Come May 26 in Kiev he may at last be able to down a beer or three should Liverpool fulfil his personal ambition and restore the term European giants to their name.

Read more on:    liverpool  |  champions league  |  jurgen klopp  |  soccer
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Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Ajax v AEK Athens, Johan Cruijff ArenA 18:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Hoffenheim, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 18:55
Viktoria Plzen v CSKA Moskva, Doosan Arena 21:00
Valencia v Juventus, Estadio de Mestalla 21:00
Benfica v Bayern Munchen, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 21:00
Real Madrid v Roma, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Manchester City v Olympique Lyonnais, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Young Boys v Manchester United, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 21:00
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Juventus v Young Boys, Allianz Stadium 18:55
Hoffenheim v Manchester City, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 18:55
Bayern Munchen v Ajax, Allianz-Arena 21:00
Olympique Lyonnais v Shakhtar Donetsk, Groupama OL Academy Decines-Charpieu 21:00
Manchester United v Valencia, Old Trafford 21:00
AEK Athens v Benfica, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 21:00
Roma v Viktoria Plzen, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
CSKA Moskva v Real Madrid, VEB Arena 21:00
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PSG v Crvena Zvezda, Parc des Princes 18:55
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Porto v Galatasaray, Estadio Do Dragao 21:00
Atletico Madrid v Club Brugge, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:00
PSV v Internazionale, Philips Stadion 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Monaco, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Napoli v Liverpool, Stadio San Paolo 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Barcelona, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
AEK Athens v Bayern Munchen, Olympiako Stadio Spyros Louis 18:55
Young Boys v Valencia, STADE DE SUISSE Wankdorf Bern 18:55
Real Madrid v Viktoria Plzen, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:00
Ajax v Benfica, Johan Cruijff ArenA 21:00
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:00
Manchester United v Juventus, Old Trafford 21:00
Roma v CSKA Moskva, Stadio Olimpico 21:00
Hoffenheim v Olympique Lyonnais, Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena 21:00
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PSG v Napoli, Parc des Princes 21:00
Lokomotiv Moskva v Porto, RZD Arena 21:00
Borussia Dortmund v Atletico Madrid, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:00
Galatasaray v Schalke 04, Turk Telekom Stadyumu 21:00
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Atletico Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Internazionale v Barcelona, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza 22:00
Napoli v PSG, Stadio San Paolo 22:00
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray, Veltins-Arena 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v PSV, Wembley Stadium 22:00
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