Jurgen Klopp has revealed that aspiring to be the coach that can defeat the best team in the world is what drives him ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City on Sunday.
The Reds head to the Etihad Stadium trailing the hosts by just one point at the Premier League summit, and can take the initiative in the title race with a win – a feat they have not managed domestically since 2015.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s showdown, Klopp doubled down on his belief that Man City are the best team around and Pep Guardiola is the best manager in the world, and that overcoming them is his ultimate goal.
“What I say about City, I really mean. Pep is the best coach in the world – no problem with that – but I always wanted to be the coach of the team who can beat the best team in the world,” he said.
“And actually I achieved that as well, somehow – and now we have to make sure Sunday is the day. There is a little bit of work to do but we have time and nothing else to do, so let’s give it a try,” Klopp said.
“We knew [the gap] was 14 points but we didn’t care, we just had to win as many points as possible until the end of the season. If we hadn’t tried, I would be disappointed.
“Not winning the league will be disappointing but there are other things to go for, like other cup competitions and the Champions League. So there is a lot to go for and for those you need momentum and you need rhythm.”
Klopp then discussed how he is going to look back on Liverpool’s rivalry with City in years to come, with the two clubs dominating the English footballing landscape for the last half-decade.
“I will not miss it, I know that,” he added. “But maybe when we both finish our careers we might meet somewhere and sit together for hours and hours and hours and just speak about the different things we saw in this game and that game.
“It would be interesting, no doubt about that. But I really think that as a club we should enjoy the ride because it is so special. It is not always easy to really feel the joy, but we should remind ourselves from time to time.
“I don’t need to remind myself. I could not be happier – today even the weather is great. I woke up this morning and when I opened the laptop, I saw we were playing City in a very interesting game.
“In these moments I really appreciate my job. It is exactly what I want to do. Then you realise there is a job to do and that they [City] are a handful – but we are as well. That is what is constantly in my mind.”