Don’t Just Focus On Messi, Klopp Warns Liverpool Ahead Of Barcelona Clash
Written by darling on May 1, 2019
Jurgen Klopp has warned his players they cannot concentrate only on Lionel Messi when Liverpool face Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
Messi has been rested for Barca’s last two league games and appears more motivated than ever in Europe, after pledging to “bring that beautiful cup back to Camp Nou” at the start of the season.
“It’s not only about Messi but of course it’s about him as well,” Klopp said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“Can we concentrate on Messi? We should in a lot of moments but if we only concentrate on him there are 10 other world-class players who can decide the game as well.
“Messi said before the season, ‘we want to bring back that cup’. That sounds like a threat to me. Now we did it, now we are here and all I can say is we want to go to the final as well.”
Liverpool hope to have their own striker back in time for the first leg, after Roberto Firmino trained after recovering from a muscle strain.
“If he is 100 per cent ready to play he will maybe play,” Klopp said. “He is here. Tomorrow we have another session.”
Messi is likely to be flanked by two former Liverpool players, with Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho expected to start in an attacking three.
But while Suarez has flourished in Spain, Coutinho has struggled to find his feet since joining Barca for 120 million euros in January last year.
“We miss Phil Coutinho a lot because he is a world-class player and I loved working with him,” Klopp said. “When I first heard he wanted to go to Barcelona I couldn’t imagine it would be good. But we had to deal without him and we did well.”
Barcelona have not lost at home in the Champions League since 2013 while the last English opponent to beat them on their own turf was Liverpool in 2007.