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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp won't hold back against old pals Dortmund in Europa League

By Carl Markham

Published 07/04/2016

All smiles: Jurgen Klopp talks to the media in Dortmund but he says he’ll celebrate if Liverpool score against his former team
All smiles: Jurgen Klopp talks to the media in Dortmund but he says he’ll celebrate if Liverpool score against his former team

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has no idea whether he will be viewed as the returning hero or villain by Borussia Dortmund but he has no intention of trying to appease the fans who adored him.

Klopp spent seven years at the club, bringing them huge success and elevating them to one of Europe's top sides.

His departure in May was accompanied by a great emotional outpouring of gratitude from supporters - the same fans he now hopes to disappoint at the Westfalenstadion in the first leg of the Europa League's showpiece quarter-final.

The 48-year-old German is prone to frenzied eruptions on the touchline and he will not hold back in front of a sell-out crowd of nearly 66,000 (reduced for European games from a capacity of almost 82,000) who, somewhat uniquely, will all share a great deal of affection for the man in the away dug out.

"I don't know what the people think but I can only say when we said goodbye it was really nice, really good," he said. "I know a lot of people who will be happy to see me again but it's not the right situation to see friends.

"It's a football game. We all started playing football against our best friends and I can't remember a moment where I did not want to win because it was my best friend.

"I will celebrate (if Liverpool score) of course. I did it when I went back to Mainz with Dortmund - and I was there for 18 years.

"After seven years they know me well enough that I will celebrate should my team score.

"If it's in the first minute I won't go running down the line but if it's important, if it's decisive, in those moments that's what happens. It's not that I plan to do it but I will not go there and take some pills that means I won't celebrate a goal.

"My father loved me overall but when we played something against each other he wanted to beat me. I needed 15 years to beat him for the first time but that wasn't his problem and there was no doubt about our relationship.

"It's a game - even if people are not always aware of it."

Klopp rates Dortmund as one of the best five club sides in the world right now and they are certainly living up to that reputation.

Their front three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have this season scored 75 goals between them, which is more than Liverpool's squad have managed combined.

But the Reds boss added: "I have nothing to prove to Dortmund to show how far we are. That is absolutely not my intention, I don't care about that.

"We are ready and as good as we can be at this moment.

"It's important to know as much as I can about opponents and of course I know more about them than any other."

Europa League: Westfalenstadion, 8.05pm

Bor Dortmund


Belfast Telegraph

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