Klopp unworried about delivering first Club World Cup title for Liverpool

By Sports Desk November 11, 2019

Jurgen Klopp is unfazed about potentially leading Liverpool to a first FIFA Club World Cup title, but the manager is excited about the opportunity.

The European champions will be favourites for the tournament in Doha in December.

Liverpool have never won the FIFA Club World Cup, finishing as runners-up in 2005, but leading the Premier League giants to a first success at the tournament is not a focus for Klopp.

"Oh, I didn't think about that. I'm not someone who has to be the first on the moon or the first winning the World Cup with Liverpool, but when we are there then we will try with all we have," he told FIFA.com.

"The very interesting and difficult part as well is that we'll be playing against teams from other continents, which doesn't happen that often – maybe a Mexican team, maybe a Brazilian team – and it will be a tough one for sure.

"We'll prepare for it as we would usually, and we will see if it's right or wrong against the team from another continent.

"We don't have too much information yet, but we will by then for sure, and it will be interesting and difficult as well."

Liverpool will play Monterrey, Al-Sadd or Hienghene Sport in the semi-finals on December 18.

Klopp said there was no additional pressure on Liverpool, urging his team to make the most of the chance ahead of them.

"We will see. So far, I don't feel any pressure. I see it as an absolute opportunity as you don't often have the chance to play for it," he said.

"You have to win the Champions League as the European team, so that already makes it special.

"We knew it'd feel great when we won the Champions League, but then we had no real clue how it'd be around the European Super Cup. So, we played it and it felt really great and really big.

"When we go there, we will be prepared and looking forward to it. The boys want to play it, so it will be very interesting, and it will feel big for us, 100 per cent."

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    Mohamed Salah is motivated to win the Premier League Golden Boot again, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

    Salah netted a brace as Liverpool beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 on Wednesday, moving the champions onto 92 points this season.

    The forward has won the past two Premier League Golden Boots, sharing last season's with Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

    Klopp said the prize was again a motivation for the Egypt international, who has 19 league goals this season, trailing Leicester City star Jamie Vardy (22) and Arsenal forward Aubameyang (20).

    "He's a striker, how can it not be a motivation for him? That's clear," he told a news conference.

    "In the last two years he won the golden boot, last year he shared it with Sadio and with Auba. That's always important, it's important for Sadio and all that stuff is normal.

    "In the end you can only score goals when you perform well and he did that so that was really good and apart from that it's all fine.

    "If you are too focused on goals, not that they are, but if you are too focused on goals you don't move enough that you can be in the right situations but the goals he scored were really good and he had a lot to move and score the goals. That's nice, could have scored more, that's true, but that's pretty much all."

    Salah became just the fourth Liverpool player to reach 100 goal involvements in the Premier League, with 73 goals and 27 assists in 104 appearances.

    He has 94 goals for Liverpool, and alongside Mane (79) and Roberto Firmino (77) the trio have delivered 250 for the club in all competitions.

    Klopp said: "Two hundred and fifth goals by the way is exceptional. Imagine where I would be if these boys would not play for me. Wow.

    "The situation minus 250 goals!"

    Liverpool's next outing is at home to Burnley on Saturday.

  • Keita is getting better and better – Klopp praises Liverpool midfielder Keita is getting better and better – Klopp praises Liverpool midfielder

    Jurgen Klopp was delighted with Naby Keita after the midfielder produced an influential performance in Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League win away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

    Keita assisted Mohamed Salah's sixth-minute opener after his pressing led to a turnover in possession, while he also started the move that led to Liverpool's second, scored by captain Jordan Henderson on Wednesday.

    The Guinea international has struggled for consistency since joining the Reds from RB Leipzig in 2018, his career on Merseyside hampered by injury issues, but he has impressed since the resumption of the season.

    Keita – who set up Sadio Mane's opener in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday – created four chances before being substituted in the 61st minute against Brighton, with Klopp particularly pleased with his contribution to Liverpool's first goal.

    "He is getting better and better, step by step and game by game and that's really cool," Liverpool manager Klopp told the media when asked about Keita's display.

    "I am really happy about that. Long may it continue, let me say it like this. When him and the boys stay fit then everything is fine with the quality they have, the way we play suits them.

    "Tonight, being a player like Naby but winning these balls, as the coach I am I couldn't be happier about these kind of goals. Everybody is involved in that and I am really grateful for seeing things like this."

    Victory on the south coast moves Liverpool up to 92 points, eight shy of Manchester City's Premier League record with four games remaining.

    However, Klopp is not interested in looking ahead to reaching a century and is instead focusing only on Burnley, who the champions face at Anfield on Saturday.

    "What can I say? When I think about the next four opponents and look at them and think we will get 10 or 12 points," the German said in his post-match news conference. 

    "I never did that. I can't do that. We play against Burnley, who are a results machine. I couldn't respect more what they are doing. They played away, won against West Ham, they will come to us and will fight with all they have – so that is what we have to do as well.

    "After that, we play Arsenal in a really good moment. After that, we play against Chelsea in a really good moment.

    "How could I assume we will get all of these points? I think from now on about the Burnley game."

  • Henderson injury a concern for Klopp after win at Brighton Henderson injury a concern for Klopp after win at Brighton

    Jurgen Klopp is unsure over the severity of the injury Jordan Henderson sustained in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

    The Reds' captain scored his side's second goal on the south coast on Wednesday, curling a shot beyond goalkeeper Mat Ryan just 127 seconds after Mohamed Salah had put the champions in front early on.

    However, Henderson was substituted in the 80th minute having seemingly hurt his knee in a challenge and Liverpool will have to wait to discover the full extent of the problem.

    "I don't know [how serious it is], I don't know, honestly," Klopp said in his post-match press conference.

    "I didn't see the situation back on the pitch, but I know that it will not be nothing, probably. That's how it is, but we have to wait. I cannot say more."

    Asked if the England international was on crutches, the German said: "I have had press since the game is over, so I have no idea how he left the dressing room."

    Klopp handed Neco Williams his first league start at left-back but opted to replace him at half-time, bringing on Andy Robertson in his place.

    The Liverpool boss explained the decision was due to the teenager being shown a yellow card rather than an issue with his overall performance.

    "I know football is like this. When we take a player off after 45 minutes and everyone thinks it's not good," he told Sky Sports.

    "I don't care about this. He had a yellow card and the situation was we didn't protect him well enough on that side. 

    "I can’t tell him not to make a challenge any more. That's the only reason [why he was taken off]. I liked a lot how he played."

    Liverpool's 30th win in the Premier League this season lifts them to 92 points, just eight shy of Manchester City's record for the competition with four games remaining.

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