Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp highly praised Benfica, Tuesday’s opponent, in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final. The German coach underestimates the value of the third place for the Eagles in the Portuguese League.
“Benfica is one of the best teams in Portugal, they are not where they want to be in the league. “It’s a strong opponent, a good team, we have to be really good,” Jurgen Klopp said, on Monday, at Liverpool.
Coach red He admitted that he spoke to many people who know Benfica well, such as Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz (Porto winger) and his assistants Pepin Leenders (former Porto B coach) and Portugal’s Vitor Matos. “We spoke Portuguese for a few minutes, but I didn’t understand anything (laughs). We spoke with Vítor, Pepijn and Vítor, our Portuguese football specialists. We had a meeting this morning and now we have to know how to use our strategy,” the German added.
Jürgen Klopp was asked about Darwin Nunez. The coach highlighted the striker but spoke of other players incarnate. “He is not the only player, Benfica has very good players. Darwin is from Uruguay, like Cavani and Suarez. Best player to score in Amsterdam and in the group stage. Hopefully you don’t have too many balls. But she is not the only one. Rafa, wow! Very fast with the ball. I know, of course, Julian Weigl. They have a lot of quality and experience, with Vertonghen and Otamendi. “I am looking forward to the match,” he added.
Jurgen Klopp watched Benfica’s match against SC Braga and admitted the changes in Nelson Verissimo’s way of playing, explaining himself in a warning: “They are a team that mixes technique, speed and organisation. This makes them dangerous. They are not in the best position in the league, but they excelled in the Champions League. The favorites were Ajax, the team everyone feared outside the top five, a fantastic talent and they were eliminated by Benfica. We have to be careful.”
The match marks the return of the German coach to Lisbon. Klopp loves Portuguese football and it was in Lisbon that he discovered Liverpool’s interest: “I was on vacation in Lisbon with my family and my agent called me. I said Liverpool were interested and I remember looking at my kids and whispering: It’s Lever Boooooool. red.
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