Jurgen Klopp vows not to heap pressure on his players before Roma tie
The Liverpool boss is busy preparing his side for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against the Italians.
Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool’s chance to reach a Champions League final should not be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Reds face Roma in their first semi-final in Europe’s elite club competition for a decade but their manager stressed he will not be building it up to be all-or-nothing for his players.
Klopp said: “I make the pressure higher? I tell them it’s the only chance you ever have in your life so use it. Would you love to hear that before a game?
“(It’s) not a once-in-the-lifetime chance. I am already for the second time in the semi-finals and if I go, I will be the second time in the final. That’s pretty rare.”
The two clubs have significant history, with Liverpool having beaten the Serie A club at their own Stadio Olimpico ground in the 1984 European Cup final.
Their most recent meeting, back in 2002, saw the Merseysiders progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Prior to that the Reds were also victorious in the knockout stages of the 2001 UEFA Cup, on their way to winning the trophy, but Klopp admits that will not have any bearing on this tie.
“When was the final – ’84? Most of the players were not born then. Was Milly (James Milner)? Maybe Milly, I am not sure,” added Klopp. “Maybe he just looks older (Milner was actually born in 1986).
“I really like it but these things happened as the stories of those boys. I love that we go to Rome, a fantastic city and a beautiful stadium, the Stadio Olimpico.
“If it helps we will use it but I think the boys need real things, not the good old stories – even though they were brilliant. We only talk about it because we hope it helps. The spirit of Rome.”
Klopp’s sides have developed a habit of blowing teams away in concentrated spells, highlighted by their three goals in 19 first-half minutes to take the quarter-final tie away from Manchester City.
The German likened it to the manner in which the great Manchester United side of the 1990s and 2000s operated.
He said: “Is there something with Alex Ferguson, Man United. At a specific time they scored always twice?
“Score, score? That is the opportunity. Score once, do it again. Use the momentum in the game. Of course we talk about it, of course we want to use that, but you still have to score.
“The team is a really enthusiastic team. In a good moment, they jump and that’s really good to see.
“On the other hand, that’s why the two Man City games were really special. We dealt with the very difficult circumstances in the two halves here and there on a high level.
“That brought us to the semis, not that we can score one, two, three in a row.
“In the moments when we are not in charge of the game, we are still in the game, that’s a very important thing and that helped us massively.”