Liverpool shouldn’t take these quotes from Toni Kroos as an insult, but as a huge compliment!
The ‘animals’ that Jurgen Klopp selects on Saturday will not stop running, snapping, hassling, tackling and pressing.
And Kroos is right that Real Madrid will be more composed in possession, but we really hope this won’t matter – providing we get the ball to Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino in advanced positions on enough occasions.
“I know for sure that it will be a very difficult game for us on Saturday. I know how Klopp is able to motivate his teams, he gives them good tactics and I am sure it will be difficult, but I am also sure it is going to be difficult for Liverpool. They’ll be 11 animals, all really up for it, we’ll be better on the ball but they’re going to put us under pressure for 90 minutes and will be at 100% or even more. We’re expecting an aggressive Liverpool, who have a really quick forward line, but we can stop them,” he told the Guardian.
Fair play, really.
Real Madrid will likely have more of the ball, but on many occasions under Klopp, that has suited Liverpool due to our breathtaking ability to play on the counter-attack.
The key will be soaking up Madrid’s pressure and causing damage when we’re in one of our hot 15-minute spells.
Kroos’s comments are far more realistic than their former manager Vincente del Bosque’s, who disrespected Liverpool in a recent interview, cited in the Standard.
“Real Madrid will beat Liverpool 4-1,” he said.
“I cannot find a single Liverpool player that improves Real Madrid, [not even] Salah. [Gareth] Bale and [Karim] Benzema are very good.”
We hope that Klopp has these quotes pinned on the dressing room wall in Kiev.
Del Bosque clearly hasn’t watched very much of Liverpool, as Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah would all get in the side – but this still misses the point.
Under Klopp, Liverpool are a team, not eleven individuals. And it’s the strength of a motivated, fit and firing Klopp XI that could stop Los Blancos in three days’ time.