Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp on “overwhelming” night in Madrid, the UEFA Super Cup and the importance of staying greedy.
What was it like to get your hands on the Champions League trophy?
Jürgen Klopp: It was overwhelming, but touching the trophy is not something you really need in life. Winning it, if you have the opportunity, is completely different, so I enjoyed that much more than holding the trophy by myself.
Watching all the others holding it was nice because then you see the emotions of all the other people. I have so many fantastic pictures in my mind which I will never forget, and of course one of them is when Hendo [captain Jordan Henderson] raised the trophy and we were all there together.
You used the phrase ‘mentality giants’ about your players, and that was obviously key to winning the final. Having won that, the players need that again I imagine.
Klopp: Knowing that something works out helps you to believe that it’ll work out again, 100%. That helps when I try to convince the boys that [anything is] possible. Thank God I’m not the only one in the dressing room who thinks that these things are possible, and that helps a lot. The people, the fans, the supporters believe, meanwhile, that we are capable of doing some special things.
There’s no alternative to creating a special atmosphere, we have to do that. We know how it works: sometimes the crowd starts, and sometimes we have to start. That’s not important, the only thing that’s important is that we can create it.
Let’s talk about the next one, then. You said this isn’t the conclusion, you said this is an introduction, a beginning, rather than the end. Going into the new season, what do you think you need to do to build on this success?
Klopp: Stay greedy. That’s very important - I have no doubt about that, but it’s clear that we have to do that. After the final we had about four weeks where everybody was [patting us on the back] and it was brilliant wherever we went.
It’s just nice, but in a different world things like this can soften you and it can take the power out of you a bit. We are not like this, but it’s a fact that it could happen, at least. We only have to do the same again, and with a couple of things we maybe didn’t do too well, we have to do better. That’s how it is.
The Super Cup is in Istanbul this year; how significant is that for Liverpool given their history with that city?
Klopp: The Super Cup itself is not a cup that I’ve really loved to watch in the past because I was often in [either the Champions League or Europa League] final. The Super Cup is obviously the final proof; if you are not in that game, it means you didn’t win the final. That’s completely different this year, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big one, it’s a wonderful city.
What type of game do you think we can expect? It’s two English teams again, as was the the Champions League final. Do you expect this to be different?
Klopp: To the Champions League final? Yes, hopefully. That game wasn’t an eye-catcher, but it’s not about that. You saw that both teams were under pressure and felt the intensity and the importance of the final, which can lead to strange things.
It’s a final, but the big difference between the Champions League final and this game is that it’s a new season, a different opponent. I think Chelsea have changed a lot: a new manager, Eden Hazard is not there anymore.