Jurgen Klopp has discussed comparisons between himself and ’emotional’ Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone ahead of Liverpool’s trip to face the Spanish side in the last-16 of the Champions League.
The European champions return to the scene of last season’s final triumph over Tottenham when they face Atletico in the Wanda Metropolitano tonight, looking to secure a positive result ahead of the return leg at Anfield in three weeks time.
The fixture will see Klopp come up against Argentine counterpart Simeone, in what will be the first competitive meeting between two of the continent’s most animated coaches.
Klopp was full of praise for the 49-year-old’s legacy after eight years in the Spanish capital, but says Simeone is ahead of even himself when it comes to showing emotion in the dugout.
“People say about me that I’m emotional on the sideline. If I’m on level four, I would say Diego is on level 12 or so,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference in Madrid.
Atletico have only conceded twice at home in their KO games under Simeone. pic.twitter.com/Yb1sIPDYSm
— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) February 18, 2020
“It’s really like I’m the Kindergarten Cop against him.
“That’s over all those years, eight years, that’s really long and still having this emotional level, wow, that’s absolutely impressive.
“His teams are always world-class organised, so that makes him one of the best. We met once or twice, exchanged some messages after big defeats or big wins and tomorrow in a really competitive game we meet for the first time, it will be interesting.”
The Premier League leaders face a goal-shy Atletico who have struggled in La Liga this season, the Spanish side having scored just 25 goals in 24 fixtures, though Liverpool will know they will have to work hard to find a way through their opponents notoriously resolute rearguard.
Asked if he can highlight any differences in playing style between him and Simeone, Klopp added: “I don’t know him well enough to know where the differences in style or managing or stuff like that. He was a world-class player, I was not a world-class player, we can say that easily.”