Klopp is confident, insists Liverpool can break the Spanish stranglehold

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The Premier League might claim to be the best league in the world, but it’s fair to say that Spain’s La Liga has ruled the roost in recent years.

In fact, Spanish sides have won their last 13 consecutive knockout ties against teams from other countries, and have won 44 out of the last 47 individual games.

There will already be an all-Spain Champions League final after Madrid beat Man City, and Klopp is keen to avoid allowing an all-Spanish Europa League final as well.

“I can only say I never lost against a Spanish team in a semi-final,” Klopp said (via Echo).

“Spanish football in this moment is really impressive because they combine really good players, they have a lot of money, and have good teams.

“It is not like they all play like Barcelona, there are different styles. There is a mixture of good players and you see Villarreal and where their players have come from – Barcelona B, Malaga – so they have good scouting too.

“They are clever enough, dirty enough to involve time-play in their style – I had experience of this not long ago against Sevilla.

“But even if English teams would have lost each game against Spanish teams the last 20 years I wouldn’t care.”

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He also said he was unconcerned about out first leg loss, and was certain it could be turned around.

“When Villarreal scored it was not the best moment in my life, but it’s a normal result,” he said. “In a European match you can lose away 1-0, it’s absolutely normal.

“We have the second half of this semi-final. We’ve thought a lot about our game. We know more about what’s useful, what’s necessary for this game.

“We know about their strengths. Our skills, our quality, our passion, our readiness together with the atmosphere of Anfield, is what I am looking for.

“These players gave me a lot of positive signs about their qualities. Quality is always potential, plus talent, plus attitude. All we did previously perfectly prepares us for a game like this.

“We know we have 90 something minutes. It’s not about being patient in a patient way, it’s about being patient with a clear direction. We need to play not with pressure but with joy.”


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