Monday 18 December 2017

Klopp's comments about Rafa's return show that he truly understands Liverpool's fans

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Liverpool's past and present will collide at Anfield tomorrow afternoon, with Jurgen Klopp happy to celebrate the return of a manager who brought the club one of its greatest successes.

Rafa Benitez returns to Anfield as Newcastle manager, and needs a win against his former club in order to have any chance of avoiding relegation to the Championship.

But despite standing in the opposition dugout, Klopp is happy for Liverpool fans to cheer loudly when the Spaniard makes his return to the stadium where many still chant his name.

Benitez famously guided Liverpool to the Champions League in 2005 after a sensational second half comeback against AC Milan in Istanbul, before he was sacked by the club's owners in 2010.

Klopp's remarks about one of Liverpool's legendary managers are sure to endear him further to Kopites as they chase Europa League success over the next few weeks.

"I know him, I like Rafa," Klopp said in his pre-match press conference this afternoon.

"Very successful manager, a nice person and I really like him and hopefully, okay, what can I say, from my point of view, if somebody wants to celebrate Rafa Benitez in memory of the Istanbul game, very welcome.

"Really, very welcome. Be louder than you have ever been. That is absolutely okay. That is how I would say hello to a good old friend."

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