Champions League! UEFA Supercup! Club World Cup? The top-class international title hat-trick is for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool FC no. “There is a really lack of it,” the 52-year-old said ahead of Saturday’s Club World Cup final in Doha. There, however, the glittering Reds will be ridden by Libertadores Cup winner CR Flamengo from Rio de Janeiro, who also rides a wave of euphoria with coach Jorge Jesus.
“We are yesterday and my team will win. We know it’s really difficult because Flamengo is really good,” Klopp said at Friday’s press conference: “We’re spat at the tension, but it’s a huge opportunity.” Captain Jordan Henderson also stressed: “We came here to win.”
But to beat the six-time Brazilian title contender, who won the first championship in a decade with a 16-point lead this year and has taken the S’damerica-ball crown for the second time since 1981, the star ensemble has to turn around Mohamed Salah compared to the lacklustre 2-1 semi-final success against the Mexican champion Monterrey CF – because the kickers from the Sugarloaf Are Hot.
“It’s the most great finale I’ve ever had”
“This is the most important game of my career. The cherry on the cake of the Flamengo season. It’s the most great final I’ve ever had,” said the 65-year-old Jesus, who has two former Bundesliga pros in the squad with Rafinha and Diego.
The anticipation was also sprésa for Filipe Luis, who played for europe’s top clubs Atlético Madrid and FC Chelsea. “This is the game of our lives and we will do our best,” the 34-year-old defender said.
Whether Klopp can make a full-time deal is highly questionable. There is still a question mark over the use of the ill defensive boss Virgil van Dijk. In addition to Europe’s Fueballer of the Year, Georginio Wijnaldum is in danger of failing. “Virgil was part of the training today. Wijnaldum has a meeting. We will use every hour to recover and see who we can put up tomorrow,” Klopp said.
Liverpool newcomer not yet eligible to play
Takumi Minamino is not yet available. The 24-year-old Japanese will not move from Red Bull Salzburg to the Reds until January 1. Klopp calls the transfer of the nimble and dribble-heavy right-hander “fabulous” and “wonderful.”
So they measure others laying the foundation stone to claim the Reds’ first title at a Club World Cup. Like the ex-Leipziger Naby Keita, whom his coach has scored in h-chsten Tunen: “He has already scored a lot of goals for us, including important goals. It’s absolutely brilliant how well he’s done that and there’s going to be so much more to come,” Klopp promised – perhaps against Flamengo.