The manager says his team’s blend of “potential and attitude” puts them in the perfect position to win the Champions League
Jurgen Klopp has described his Liverpool side as the best he has ever taken into a final ahead of Saturday’s Champions League showdown against Tottenham.
Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund were defeated by Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 2013, while he was on the losing side again last year as Real Madrid prevailed in Kiev.
The Reds have enjoyed a superb campaign, finishing second in the Premier League with a whopping 97 points, and produced a remarkable second-leg comeback against Barcelona to set up the mouth-watering clash with Spurs at the Wanda Metropolitano at the weekend.
Klopp is in awe of his side’s achievements this season and believes they are perfectly positioned to win a first Champions League since 2005.
“I love them all, they have all given everything,” he told a media conference. “I’ve never been part of a final with a better team, that’s true.
“I’m not so surprised because the boys have a mix of potential and attitude in the best way I have ever witnessed. That’s just brilliant, exceptional, and that brought us where we are.
“It’s a sensational situation, being here again is great. We wanted it, really desperately, but it looked like it would slip through our fingers in the group stage. I’m really happy that we can do it again.”
Klopp reserved special praise for James Milner and Jordan Henderson, who he believes epitomise the hunger to improve that is so prevalent throughout his squad.
“The best piece of character of this team is the constant readiness for development,” he explained.
“Take James Milner. He is 33 now, but he’s still developing. He’s taking really big steps, calming down here and using his unbelievable skills in better moments.
“He’s an example, like Henderson. They always want to make the next step; it’s just in them, and it helps a lot.”
Liverpool beat Tottenham in both their Premier League meetings this season, most recently at Anfield in March, but Klopp does not think that will give his side the edge on Saturday.
“It will be very tight, no doubt,” he said. “The quality of Tottenham and us is pretty similar. The difference between us in the league is consistency. We won both games, but both 2-1.
“The home game was a tight game with a lucky goal from us in the last minute. [Mauricio] Pochettino is right; emotions will be completely different. You have to use the emotions but in the right circumstances. It’s a special game, but we have to bring ourselves in the right mood.”