Liverpool, champions of Europe; it never gets old.
We’ve been able to dine out on that for over six weeks, but, as the new season edges on the horizon, that reputation will be following us across the campaign.
Asked in his Bradford post-match conference whether the Reds’ status as champions of Europe offers opposition sides a further impetus to beat them, Klopp was humbly bullish in his responses.
“To be honest, last year we were second in Europe but everybody wanted to win against us!
“When we went to Newcastle I thought ‘OK, what are we playing today here for?’, the intensity was like a World Cup.
“I don’t think it will be more tough [to win], but it will be tough like always. I had to learn that pretty quick: when you are a Liverpool team and you go somewhere, they’re all really on their toes. That was never different, but we will be prepared for that for sure.”
Klopp’s right – for various reasons, the Reds are always a scalp and teams, especially in the Premier League, always seem to be up for it when they face us.
In last season’s, top-flight, title race, it often seemed that opponents would implement a damage-limitation approach to Manchester City, yet pull no punches when the Reds came to town.
Now kings of the Champions League, the Reds are likely to face even more attempts to dethone them; teams and their managers are likely to use that fact as ammunition for regicidal motivation.
But, as the boss says, that has arguably always been true in one way or another. While we weren’t champions last year, our opponents still wanted to try and put a spanner in the works.
One loss in the league last season was ample proof they didn’t quite manage to achieve that.
Klopp will have a now even more experienced, shrewd, and streetwise side that is ready to face everything that gets thrown their way.