The Europa League quarter-final draw threw up an incredible tie in Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund.
It’s fascinating not just because it pits two of Europe’s most prestigious clubs against each other, but because Jurgen Klopp will return to his former team.
The Liverpool boss spent seven seasons in Dortmund but there is one part of his return that he is not looking forward to.
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Klopp has admitted that he didn’t enjoy coming back to Mainz after he became Dortmund boss in 2008 due to the changes his former team had made.
And he expects a similar awkwardness when he goes back to Signal Iduna Park.
“There are two things to say about this,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website after the draw. “On the one side, for me I was 18 years at Mainz and then in my break, after seven years at Dortmund, I went for the first time to Mainz’s stadium not as a coach, just to go there.
“It was never easy to go back and meet some friends or things like this because there was always another manager and I thought ‘I don’t want to disturb’ and things like this. I have a similar problem in Dortmund, to be honest.
“I still have three season tickets, but my son uses them and is very often in the stadium – when he’s not in Liverpool, of course.
“So, I am looking forward to going there. I loved this place, a few of the best things in my life happened there, so of course I am looking forward to it. But on the other side, I hate the hype around my person in these matches.
“I know about the business and all the circumstances, that’s clear, but I don’t like it to be honest. I will do what I have to do and then we will see. The game and the players, completely focused - or as much focus as possible - on all these guys.
“During the game, all the focus on these guys and then if somebody wants to talk to me after the game, I am available then.”
"A story only football can write"
The Liverpool boss admitted after watching his team defeat Manchester United in the last-16 that he didn’t want to face Dortmund, but he’s since gone back on his word by calling the tie “a story only football can write”.
“I am really happy with the draw,” Klopp added. “Yesterday I said why should I wish [to get] the strongest team in the tournament, but obviously if you want to win the Europa League, and when you are in the quarter-final, then you have to beat the strongest teams.
“It is better to play against them in two games than in only one game. I am really happy to introduce my new team to Dortmund. I am really happy to show the boys this wonderful stadium and a great city. It’s a story only football can write.
“We’re all happy. During the draw we had our video analysis meeting for Southampton and after that we were immediately training, so maybe my cell phone is full of messages – I need to have a look on there!”
Can Klopp overcome his old team? Have your say in the comments section below!
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