Saturday 17 August 2019

Klopp: Moments worth more than trophies


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Reuters
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Reuters

Chris Bascombe

For Jurgen Klopp, ending Liverpool's extraordinary season with a trophy is simultaneously everything and nothing.

The Anfield coach craves a final twist in the Premier League to secure his club's first title in 29 years. The Champions League would be the ultimate consolation should Tottenham Hotspur be defeated next month. But if neither occurs, Klopp believes the magnificence of moments such as the win over Barcelona - and the impact that has had on players and club - has greater value than a trophy in his rejuvenation of Liverpool.

"A moment like this is worth more than silverware," explained Klopp. "This season has been a year full of wonderful moments. Looking forward to games, enjoying games and last Tuesday was like the icing on the cake so far. Wow.

"That's the picture we want to draw for the outside world - this is Liverpool.

"It's possible here. It's possible in this club and in this city with the people around. If that leads to silverware, then wonderful. But we cannot do more. If people judge me on not winning something in the past or winning something in the future, I cannot change that. We do this for entertainment.

"People want to go and enjoy the game. They think two days before and three days after about this game. Heart surgeries are much more important but I don't think people want to read as much about heart surgeries as they do about football."

Klopp says the win over Barcelona was only possible as the culmination of three years' work. "A final win can be the consequence of a lucky bounce," he said.

"If you struggle in a game, they hit the post and the bar but you win it, that's good for looking back and saying, 'That year we won it and, oh, we were lucky'.

"The job is to develop as far and as high as possible so it gets more likely that you win silverware and that's what we've done so far. Now we go to a final and we'll play it, learn from the past few years and see what we can do there."

Klopp said that if there was a phrase to sum up his players' efforts it was, "it's only pain". That is partly physical - many are fighting off injury to face Wolves tomorrow - and also psychological as they seek victory on the final day in the knowledge they are powerless to stop Manchester City claiming the three points they need.

"If we can win, it's not in our hands what we get for that. But it doesn't make our season a little bit less good. It's just a different finish," said Klopp. "We have a full toolbox with football tools. With our help, the boys use the right tools in the right moments. We have to make an ever bigger one for the next few years because nobody sleeps in this business."

So what hope City will stumble? "I don't need more hope or belief than I have already," said Klopp. "It is just the knowledge that a game is not finished before the last whistle. We don't have to hope, we only have to play the game."

© Daily Telegraph, London

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