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Klopp and Liverpool out to stop motivated Messi

By Opta
Lionel Messi

Barcelona, May 1: Jurgen Klopp knows how desperate Lionel Messi and Barcelona are to win the Champions League - but insists Liverpool are ready to stop them achieving their goal this season.

Messi and the Blaugrana were last European champions in 2015 and have since seen rivals Real Madrid win the title for three consecutive seasons.

Madrid, who defeated Liverpool in last season's final, were knocked out by Ajax this term, with Barca the lone La Liga representative left standing in the final four of the competition.

Ahead of the first leg at Camp Nou, Klopp acknowledged the threat of a motivated Messi – as well his team-mates - yet believes Liverpool have the same desire for success.

"It's not only about Messi, but of course it is about him as well," Klopp told a news conference. "Can we just concentrate on Messi? We should in a lot of moments.

"But if you do that only, there are 10 world-class players around to decide the game easily. They have a high-quality team.

"They are already Spanish champions and they want to win. Messi said before the season, 'we want to bring back this cup'. That sounds like a threat to me! But we want to go to the final as well."

Klopp was wary of talking up Liverpool's chances, knowing that many top sides have come undone at Camp Nou.

He did, however, say Barcelona have a slight advantage in that they have already wrapped up the LaLiga title, while his Reds continue to battle with Manchester City in the Premier League.

"So many people came to Barcelona and had to play Barcelona and had an idea and a plan and all this stuff, spoke about 'if we do this, if we do that'," he said. "And then, in the end, they got a proper knock, 'bong, good morning'.

"But there were a few who really caused them problems. We saw the game against Real Sociedad - they did really well. Levante did well a couple of days ago.

"Of course, the better the opponent, the better the competition is, the higher the stakes are, the more they are in it.

"Now they are champions since last Saturday and now they can completely focus on the Champions League. We will face them anyway and I'm really looking forward to it. However, it will be tough, a tough job."

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Story first published: Wednesday, May 1, 2019, 0:50 [IST]
Other articles published on May 1, 2019
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