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Champions League

Liverpool ready to stop Messi and Barcelona achieving their dream

Liverpool are ready to match Lionel Messi's desire to deliver Barcelona to the Champions League final, says Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool ready to stop Messi and Barcelona achieving their dream
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Follow Barcelona - Liverpool live Champions League semi-final first leg

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp knows how desperate Leo Messi and Barcelona are to win the Champions League - but insists his side are ready to prevent them achieving their goal this season.

Messi and the Blaugrana were last European champions in 2015 and have since seen rivals Real Madrid win the title for three consecutive seasons.

Madrid, who defeated Liverpool in last season's final, were knocked out by Ajax this term, with Barça the lone LaLiga representative left standing in the final four of the competition.

Klopp wary of Messi threat

Ahead of the first leg at Camp Nou, Klopp acknowledged the threat of a motivated Messi – as well his team-mates - yet believes Liverpool have the same desire for success.

"It's not only about Messi, but of course it is about him as well," Klopp told a news conference. "Can we just concentrate on Messi? We should in a lot of moments.

"But if you do that only, there are 10 world-class players around to decide the game easily. They have a high-quality team.

"They are already Spanish champions and they want to win. Messi said before the season, 'we want to bring back this cup'. That sounds like a threat to me! But we want to go to the final as well."

Klopp was wary of talking up Liverpool's chances, knowing that many top sides have come undone at Camp Nou.

He did, however, say Barcelona have a slight advantage in that they have already wrapped up the LaLiga title, while his Reds continue to battle with Manchester City in the Premier League.

Camp Nou destroyed many

"So many people came to Barcelona and had to play Barcelona and had an idea and a plan and all this stuff, spoke about 'if we do this, if we do that'," he said. "And then, in the end, they got a proper knock, 'bong, good morning'.

"But there were a few who really caused them problems. We saw the game against Real Sociedad - they did really well. Levante did well a couple of days ago.

"Of course, the better the opponent, the better the competition is, the higher the stakes are, the more they are in it.

"Now they are champions since last Saturday and now they can completely focus on the Champions League. We will face them anyway and I'm really looking forward to it. However, it will be tough, a tough job."

Check out the predicted lineups and team news for Barcelona v Liverpool Champions League semi-final first leg.


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