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Jurgen Klopp wants to turn tables after reliving Real Madrid ‘torture’

Liverpool’s manager had no wish to relive the agony of last May’s 1-0 defeat in Paris, but the last-16 draw compelled him to revive bitter memories.

Liverpool's Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson during a training session ahead of their Champions League round of 16 match against Real Madrid at Anfield. Photo: Andrew Powell/Getty Images© Liverpool FC via Getty Images


Jurgen Klopp says he suffered the “torture” of rewatching Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid to prepare for the ultimate test in club football against the Spanish giants tonight.

Liverpool’s manager had no wish to relive the agony of last May’s 1-0 defeat in Paris, but the last-16 draw compelled him to revive bitter memories.

“I didn’t watch it back until this weekend and the thing I realised immediately was now I know why I didn’t watch it back. But I had to,” Klopp said.

“It was proper torture because we played a good game and could have won – and could is the decisive word. We could but didn’t.”

Klopp – who hopes Darwin Nunez will recover from a shoulder injury to face the European champions – says Real and Carlo Ancelotti’s pedigree makes a Champions League tie against them the toughest possible examination in the competition.

“Carlo is the most relaxed manager I met in my life and one of the best people you could meet,” Klopp said. “He is a fantastic, humble person, super smart and nice and his man-management is on a completely different level to anyone.

“It is the Champions League, one of the biggest games in the world. In the last few years it seemed like one of us was always in the final. That’s how it feels at least, and usually if you want to get to the final you have to kick us out or them.”

Klopp’s pre-match message to his players is a warning that only their peak form will suffice and he is encouraged by victories over Everton and Newcastle.

“I would have expected us to have been ourselves even if we hadn’t won the last two games because this is a different competition,” Klopp said. “But now we have these two results and hopefully we can build on that because we need to play two super games to get through.”

Memories of Paris were also tainted by the chaotic scenes before the final as fans were let down by UEFA’s poor organisation. That contributed to a subdued atmosphere in Stade de France.

“I don’t think we needed the Paris game to make this a special game,” Klopp insisted. “We lost the game and the good thing about sport is we want to put things right and that is all.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool’s owner John W Henry says Fenway Sports Group has no intention of selling the Merseyside club despite formalising a search for investment.

“Will we be in England forever? No. Are we selling LFC? No. Are we talking with investors about LFC? Yes. Will something happen there? I believe so, but it won’t be a sale,” Henry said.

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