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Liverpool will have to make sacrifices in Nou Camp, says Klopp

 

Listen up: Jurgen Klopp speaks to the media ahead of the first leg of Liverpool’s semi-final clash with Barcelona
Listen up: Jurgen Klopp speaks to the media ahead of the first leg of Liverpool’s semi-final clash with Barcelona

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accepts his players will have to suffer in the Nou Camp if they are to deny Lionel Messi the opportunity to fulfil his pre-season "threat" to win the Champions League.

Back in August, the Argentina international, in his first public address as captain, told a packed stadium before a friendly against Boca Juniors that he and the players had made it their ambition to win the trophy for a sixth time.

They had been stung by watching Real Madrid win their third consecutive title - against Klopp's side - and 13th in all, and Messi said: "Last season was really good as we did the double but we all felt bad about how it went in the Champions League.

"We promise that this season we will do all we can to bring that beautiful trophy back to the Camp Nou."

Klopp viewed that as fighting talk and, with the two teams now pitted together in a semi-final first leg, Messi and his team-mates will be put to the test.

"Messi said before the start of the season that they wanted to bring back this Cup. That sounded like a threat to me! Now we are here, we want to go to the final as well," said the Reds boss, who when asked to rate Messi said he was his No.1.

"We won't be perfect, we will make mistakes, we will suffer, 100 per cent. We can't be completely free to play our game.

"I know people made out that we became better in the last couple of years and Barcelona are not the same without Xavi or Iniesta, but we have been here for two years, they have been here for 20 years. I would say a draw would not be the worst result, not that we would go for it.

"So many people came to Barcelona and had a plan and in the end they got a proper knock.

"But there were a few who could really cause problems: we saw the game against Real Sociedad and they did well, Levante did well a couple of days ago."

Klopp's record in Spain is poor, with three draws and five defeats, but that does not mean he has not had success against Spanish sides. With Borussia Dortmund he beat Real Madrid on the way to the final in 2013. That had personal benefits for Klopp as he recalled a holiday in Ibiza.

"Because I beat Real Madrid a couple of times, one day I got a full table in Ibiza," he said. "The restaurant was full but they said, 'You are Jurgen Klopp, you beat Real Madrid, you better take it'."

• Leeds' Patrick Bamford has been charged with "successful deception of a match official", the FA has announced.

Bamford clutched at his face during a mass altercation between Leeds and Aston Villa players during a heated Championship match at Elland Road on Sunday - with Villa's Anwar el Ghazi sent off as a result.

There was no contact made between El Ghazi, whose red has been rescinded, and Bamford - who has been hit with an FA charge and faces a two-match ban which could see him miss the first leg of Leeds' play-off semi-final.

Both clubs have been charged with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the 72nd minute after Mateusz Klich had given Leeds the lead.

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