Liverpool was seeded in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League against Benfica of Portugal, team that eliminated Ajax and that on paper is one of the weakest in this phase. The English, champions for the last time in 2019, they are favorites of the key that will start in Lisbon and end in Anfield.
Jürgen Klopp reacted after the draw and assured that it will not be an easy series for his team, he does not want to trust the favoritism that is in his favor. He also said that he has “a nice memory” of Lisbon because there he made the decision to sign for Liverpool in 2015 while he was on vacation. She received the call from Mike Gordon, president of the Fenway Sports Group, the company that owns the English club, and said ‘yes’ to the proposal that changed her life.
“I know that people will say that we are the favorites and things like that, but that is already the first mistake you could make. We’ve been in business too long to make these kinds of mistakes. I respect a lot what they are doing there, Benfica is a massive club. Lisbon, a great city, plus I spent my last week off on vacation there, so that’s also a nice memory. I was sitting in an outdoor cafe, I got the call and we made the decision in Lisbon,” Klopp said.
His people know Porto, including Luis Díaz
The German coach feels that these Champions League matches can be special. Two of his footballers (Luis Díaz and Digo Jota) passed through Porto, Benfica’s greatest rival. There are also people from his coaching staff who were in that institution. Klopp and his assistants know perfectly the game of the team led by Nélson Veríssimo.
“That’s great to know, now the preparation begins. Obviously we have some guys with history at Porto, also in my coaching staff, so maybe there’s a bit of a classic feel to it, if you will. It’s great, absolutely great and I can’t wait.”explained the DT in dialogue with the Liverpool website.
The Dutchman Pepijn Lijnders (technical assistant) and the Portuguese Víctor Matos (development coach) They are the men from Klopp’s coaching staff who spent several years in Porto. The first lasted 7 seasons in that club and the second was trained there working from children’s and youth categories. In addition James French, analyst of rivals, was born in Portugal.
Luis Díaz’s numbers against Benfica
In two and a half seasons in PortoLuis Díaz faced Benfica 6 times: 3 were for the league, 2 for the Portuguese Cup and one for the Super Cup, a match in which he scored a goal in the 2-0 win on December 23, 2020. The Colombian never lost, his team won 4 games and drew 2.
Benfica and Liverpool play the first leg of the quarterfinals on Tuesday, April 5 at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon and the second leg on Wednesday, April 13 at Anfield. The winner of this key will face the winner of Villarreal-Bayern Munich in the semifinals.