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Klopp: "Let's hope this is the start of something special"

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Klopp: "Let's hope this is the start of something special"

Klopp: "Let's hope this is the start of something special"

John Powell

Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp said that Liverpool and Roma are in the semi-final for their own merits: "Nobody expectd this but who cares if people think we're the underdogs?"

Update content

Welcome to our live coverage of Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference, from the press room at Anfield, Liverpool. Liverpool play host to Roma in tomorrow's Champions League semi-final first leg.

Klopp press conference - live updates:

Well that's it for the moment at Anfield. Klopp in typical good humour, relaxed and happy and "under no pressure whatsoever" as he delivered his press briefing - short and sweet, but not giving anything at all away about his gameplan or team selection for tomorrow's game and full of admiration and respect for rivals Roma.

Out of all of Roma's players, if you could take one of of the team, who would you choose? "I cannot answer that question" replies Klopp.

Klopp on the fans: "I don't have to tell the fans anything, they already know it - they have more experience than me. These are very special moments and if you cannot enjoy these moments, there is something wrong with you. I don't have to say anything to our fans, I know they will be perfect".

"Obviously, it's a big thing for Roma to be in a semi-final - as it is for us. So you will see the excitement of football out on the pitch and that's how it should be"

*Round of applause for the Italian translator: "Even I can't remember what I just said!" quips Klopp.

  "We have continued believing in oursleves and Roma have too. They've done a brilliant job. Who cares if people think we're the underdogs".

"I'm sure many people thought this semi-final would be Barcelona v Manchester City but it's not, it's Liverpool v Roma. That's football. Only one team can win it and the season is long but we have to show the best we can. Now we are here and both of us have the chance to go to the final. People talk to be about pressure but it's possible and that's nice".

Klopp giggles when asked whether he would consider coaching in Italy one day in the future. "Ooh, I don't think it's a good idea for any Italian club to work with me because I only know to order spaghetti in a restaurant. Not in the next four years, that's for sure".

  On Salah facing his old team: "It's pretty normal in football for players to change clubs - I had it myself with Dortmund when we played them. I am pretty sure Mo follows Roma's progress, he had a fantastic season there. So it will be in his mind more than in a normal game. Mo will feel early in the game that they are not his team mates any more and be able to focus on his game".

  On the welcoming the team buses by the King Harry: "Please, show respect. Liverpool is known and respected all around the world but please do not throw things. We are only opponents out on the pitch, that's all. We have to show respect".

Klopp hears back what he had to say on Mo Salah, translated into Italian: "What my answer that long?!"

First question, about Mo Salah: "Fantastic, I am really happy for him and he can feel very proud. It's nice to be be given recognition from your fellow professionals - they know how difficult it is to score that many goals. It's great, but the season's not over yet. I'll congratulate him personally when I see him".

Off we go...

Klopp and his opposite number Eusebio Di Francesco both rested key players at the weekend with mixed results - Liverpool were held to a 2-2 draw by West Brom after surrendering a two-goal lead while a predominantly second-string Roma side sent SPAL 2013 packing 0-3.

Klopp is almost certain to be asked about Mo Salah, who faces his old club during what has been an incredible, fairytale season for him - one which got even better last night when he was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year award. Salah netted his 31st Premier League goal at West Brom on Saturday - to get an idea of the magnitude of that feat - only three players have scored that many goals in the English top flight in his current format (Alan Shearer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suárez. Salah has achieved the feat in 33 games which means he is averaging almost a goal per game. His overall tally for the season, in all competitions is 41, which is close to Ian Rush's club record (47 in 1983-4).

Liverpool and Roma have met five times in total in European competition but the one which will stirs the most memories is 1984 European Cup final at the Olimpico which was decided from the penalty spot, Bruce Grobbelaar's wobbly 'spaghetti legs' still gives Bruno Conti nightmares... Apart from that meeting, Liverpool and Roma have crossed paths on two other occasions in European competition - in the 2001/2 UEFA Cup which the Merseysiders won 2-1 on aggregate and a year later in the group stage in the Champions League.

 

We’re just under 20 minutes away from hearing Jürgen Klopp’s thoughts on tomorrow's game against Roma in his pre-match press briefing. While we wait, let's take a look at some of the previous meetings between the two clubs and their recent form.  

 

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