Ahead UEFA Champions League battle, Jurgen Klopp aims a dig at Diego Simeone despite respect for him

PARTIDO DE IDA OCTAVOS DE FINAL ATLETICO DE MADRID-LIVERPOOL SALUDO ENTRENADORES PREVIA
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Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will play guests to La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on Tuesday at the Wanda Metropolitano as they aim to maintain their excellent record in Group B after securing six maximum points from two games.

The Reds sit top of the group with their host in second place after four points from two games.

Interestingly, a win for the Premier League giants will see them extend their chances of topping the group and a win for Atletico will help them unseat Liverpool as Group B leaders.

Meanwhile, after their most recent meeting last year where Atletico knocked out then Champions League holders Liverpool in the last 16, Klopp had questioned why the Spanish side had not played “proper football”.

Though, Klopp has since come out to say that his comments were based on emotion at the time, but his perception of Simeone’s style of play may not have still impressed him.

“Diego Simeone is doing absolutely everything right,” Klopp said at his pre-match news conference on Monday.

He is the current Spanish champion. Very successful at [Atletico]. He has a bunch of world-class players, keeps them on their toes, they fight with all they have for their lives.

“That says a lot about the quality of Diego so I couldn’t respect more what they do.

“Do I like it? Not too much but that is normal because I prefer a different kind of football. That’s me. Other coaches prefer different styles of football. Nobody has to like it, it just has to be successful and that is what Atletico is for sure.”

The German tactician who is obviously aware of the quality of their opponent on Tuesday night will expect his side to bring their “A” game to avoid another defeat in the hands of the La Liga giants especially with Atletico’s attack more reinforced after re-signing Antoine Griezmann on a season-long loan from Barcelona in the summer albeit still with their renowned defensive resilience.

“They are still the result machine they were before,” Klopp said.

“I am a very positive person, but I am not that positive or naive that I think we have these games already in our pocket.

“They have changed players and system so we face a different animal, but not a weaker one.”

Amazingly, Simeone was asked what he had to say to the German manager’s criticism from 2020 prior to Klopp’s news conference and with a smile he simply replied “nothing”.

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