Klopp living dream ahead of Porto clash
9 April 2019, 06:38
Jurgen Klopp claims he is living his long-held dream in managing a Liverpool side which can challenge for major honours.
A two-point lead at the top of the Premier League as they seek to win their first domestic title since 1990 and a Champions League quarter-final against Porto is an enviable position to be in.
Klopp said he is enjoying this season more than the last, when they were blowing teams away with their high-intensity play and huge firepower which took them to the Champions League final.
The reason is because he sees the progress which has been made and the potential which could be realised.
"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," said Klopp, whose side have already qualified for next season's Champions League by virtue of their league position.
"That is actually what I love, and we showed that, especially in the Champions League very often.
"We all know what happens if the boys do win something. That changes everything.
"But in this moment we should not think about that. As a club, as a group, with all our supporters we should enjoy the situation because it is so different.
"Last year we had proper pressure in the last part of the season. Chelsea was winning each game and we were drawing, after being 10 points ahead. In the end we had to win the last game again to qualify for the Champions League."
Addressing the task ahead, Klopp added: "We don't expect, or take it for granted, that we will be in the Champions League final again but having the chance again is really unbelievable.
"On the other side, we have made this big step in the league. We are responsible for the league not being decided yet.
"In all other seasons we would have probably 60-something points and be fighting with five other teams for three places behind City.
"This is completely different. I love this season much more."
Liverpool host Porto at Anfield in the first leg of their quarter-final with the expectation they will dispatch the Portuguese champions as easily as their last-16 encounter just over 12 months ago when his side left the Estadio do Dragao with a 5-0 first-leg victory.
When it was suggested to him no-one would have wanted to draw his side at this stage of the competition Klopp said: "That's true. It's a combination of things.
"Having these games with this special attitude the team can create, in this special stadium with a crowd that create an atmosphere, it is 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 is one of the toughest places to go at the moment and I hope we can show that again tomorrow night."