Klopp is excited about Unai Emery

Bdo not let yourself stumble. On the way to the long-awaited title quadruple, FC Liverpool are clearly favorites against Bayern-Schreck FC Villarreal, but Jürgen Klopp strongly warns against “The King of the Cups”. “Villarreal have perhaps the most successful coach in cup tournaments. It’s incredible what he does. Anyone who throws out Juventus and Bayern deserves to be in the semi-finals,” said Klopp before the first semi-final match of the Champions League against the Spaniards on Wednesday (21.00 in FAZ’s live tickets for the Champions League and on DAZN). ) at Anfield.

This refers to Unai Emery, the clever Villarreal coach who has won 84 percent of his knockout duels in the Premier League and Europa League since the 2009/10 season. Only former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is slightly better at a rate of 88 percent. Klopp and his Reds have themselves experienced this painfully. When the former Dortmund champions reached the first title with Liverpool in the Europa League final in 2016, Emery had something against it with Sevilla FC. The coach has won the competition four times, last year with Villarreal against Manchester United.

But now it’s top class, and Klopp rates the task as “hard, hard, hard”. Klopp was impressed with the defensive abilities of the seventh-placed Primera Division team in a 1-1 draw in Munich in the second match of the quarter-finals. “It will be difficult, but it is the semi-finals of the Champions League. If it was not difficult, something would go wrong.” Bayern underestimated Villarreal and experienced an ugly surprise in the first match as they were still lucky to be 1-0 down.

Contracts with Salah and Mané in focus

Klopp does not want to make this mistake. For it entices a year for the history books. For the first time in the club’s history, the LFC was able to win all four titles. They have already won the League Cup, they have reached the FA Cup final against Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel, and Liverpool are only one point behind longtime rivals Manchester City in the league.

The hunger for titles is similarly great. “I want to relive the feeling we had after winning the Champions League,” said striker Mohamed Salah, who looks back on the 2019 title coup and thinks back to the “incredible” winning parade through the city. With eight goals in ten games, the Egyptian is also Liverpool’s top scorer just like in the league (22 goals). No wonder Klopp would rather extend Salah’s contract, which expires in 2023, anytime before tomorrow. The contract with Salah’s teammate Sadio Mané also expires in a year.

There is currently not much time for contract negotiations. They travel to resurrected Premier League rivals Newcastle United on Saturday and the return leg in Villarreal on Tuesday. “It’s brutal, but the best situation you can have,” Klopp said. Until the Champions League final on May 28, there are almost exclusively English weeks, but the last date the Reds will not miss.

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