Jurgen Klopp is the reason why Liverpool’s upcoming Europa League clash against Borussia Dortmund is probably the biggest quarter-final tie in the tournament’s history.
The disarming German revealed how he is preparing to make his first return to Dortmund since leaving the club at the end of the 2014-15 season.
Klopp is fully aware that Dortmund are now enemies; he will celebrate every Liverpool goal. Yet he is expecting an emotional return and admitted he doesn’t know how he will react if Dortmund fans sing his name.
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That kind of behaviour is only natural - Klopp did enjoy seven fruitful seasons in Germany, after all.
The game will see two of Europe’s most zealous fan bases come out in support of their respective teams, and Klopp had nice words to say about Dortmund’s passionate fans.
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When asked by German radio station Sport1 how he would feel if Borussia Dortmund fans sing his name, Klopp said: “I can’t say how I’ll feel if my name is sung by the Dortmund fans. I just love the passion and atmosphere," per 101GreatGoals.
“To get this draw is absolutely amazing. The atmosphere in the two games against Dortmund will set new standards.
“It makes sense that we play against Dortmund two times. Better than in the final. I don’t think that Dortmund was too happy with the draw. We are a dangerous opponent.
“I’m a competitive man, but it will be difficult to concentrate on the game.”
Klopp added: “I texted with a few players and [BVB sporting director] Michael Zorc.
“They are looking forward to the game as well. In the last years we celebrated together, now just one of us will celebrate. Better than nobody!
“I’m looking forward to seeing the whole coaching team again. I don’t need a special introduction in the stadium and will celebrate a Liverpool goal. But Dortmund are the favourites.
“Without other injury problems we are able to line up a team to beat Dortmund.”
Successful spell at BVB
Klopp guided the German club to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and to the Champions League final in 2012-13.
It was in that Champions League that Klopp enhanced his reputation. His team were drawn against Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax - an extremely tough challenge - but topped the group without losing a game.
So it’s easy to see why the 48-year-old is appreciated by his old team.
He continued: “Mats (Hummels) described it perfectly. We will welcome each other 100 per cent. We will say goodbye 100 per cent. In the 90 minutes between that we will annoy each other. That describes it perfectly.”
Whatever the score is, Klopp can expect an incredible reception when he returns to Signal Iduna Park on April 7.