Napoli v Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp says Champions League winners not best in Europe
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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the Champions League win of past season does not make them the very best club in Europe.
The Reds’ 2-0 victory over Tottenham at June’s closing in Madrid gave his very first trophy with the club to Klopp.
They begin their title defence from Napoli in their Group E opener on Tuesday (20:00 BST), and Klopp says that his side cannot live on past achievement.
“There are a great deal of good teams out there and you need to establish that constantly,” said the German.
“We cannot qualify as the best group in Europe because Manchester City will be the best group on earth – that is the exact same planet, I discovered.
“Last season, we had been really excellent. I’m not too sure we had been the best team in Europe, but we were very good in the perfect moments and that’s why we won the Champions League.”
Liverpool were paired with Napoli in the group stage last year, together with the Italian side winning the fixture 1-0.
Klopp says his side cannot afford to allow their performance degree fall with teams, particularly in any match in the competition of this season.
“Last year, we learned from 1 game to another game and we must use that experience, because if we don’t defend with all we have then we don’t have any chance against Napoli. They are so strong,” he further added.
“They are stubborn in a favorable way. They play football, they break lines, they have counter-attacks that are great , they are imaginative. When I revisit Napoli, I enjoy it. I love to see them”
Captain Jordan Henderson echoed his manager’s thoughts by stressing that the players have put last year’s Champions League success to the rear of their heads.
“Last season was last season,” said that the 29-year-old England midfielder.
“We can enjoy expertise from the campaign and, if we could take that into this campaign, ultimately we feel we can still do a lot of things better and everything is possible ”
Divock Origi, who scored the second goal in the Champions League final did not travel to Naples with Liverpool after turning his ankle in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at the weekend. Teenager Rhian Brewster rather made the trip to Italy.
Left-back Andy Robertson picked up a knock in the weekend but is anticipated to be fit for this match.
Midfielder Naby Keita along with goalkeeper Alisson remain sidelined, even though the latter can return to training.
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