Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has explained why he views Carlo Ancelotti as a “role model” ahead of his side’s clash against Real Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday.
The Reds boss last took on Ancelotti in the Merseyside derby last February, with Everton coming out on top 2-0 on that occasion – their first win at Anfield in over 20 years. That was Ancelotti’s fourth win over Klopp in their 10th meeting, with the German winning three of those.
It is poised to be another thrilling final between the two sides after they completed in the 2018 final with Los Blancos securing a 3-1 win on that day. Real Madrid booked their place in the final with a 6-5 success over Manchester City, while the Reds were 5-2 winners against Villarreal.
Meanwhile, Gary Neville has told Liverpool to look at signing Christian Eriksen from Brentford and Michael Owen has delivered his prediction ahead of Saturday’s final.
Klopp praises Ancelotti
Jurgen Klopp admits his rival in Paris is a “role model” with whom he has a “fantastic relationship.”
But the Liverpool manager is adamant he will not fear Carlo Ancelotti’s incredible tactical brain in the Champions League final….or his remarkable Real Madrid side, despite three impossible comebacks in the competition already. Klopp says he has always looked up to the Italian manager, and joked: “He is one of the best people you can ever meet, fantastic company, and we have a really good relationship.
“It had a bit of a break when he was at Everton because we both respected this part of the business too much otherwise we would have gone out for dinner a couple of times.”
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Liverpool told to sign Eriksen
Gary Neville has told Liverpool to sign Christian Eriksen in the summer transfer window to emulate Xherdan Shaqiri‘s impact at Anfield.
The Manchester United legend hailed the Brentford midfielder as “out of this world” against his former club, despite losing the game 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier this month. Eriksen incredibly recovered from suffering cardiac arrest less than a year ago to star in Thomas Frank’s side in the second half to the season, proving why he remains one of the best creators in world football.
With the former Tottenham Hotspur playmaker’s contract expiring at the end of June, though, Neville has instructed Jurgen Klopp and co to take advantage and snap him up on a free transfer. Speaking on The Overlap Fan Debate, the ex-United captain claimed: “I think Eriksen will get plucked by a big club. He might show loyalty, to be fair, because of what Brentford have done for him.
“I tell you what, if you were any top-six club that were looking at a midfield three and you wanted a player to go in there and play 30 games for you in a squad-type [situation], you’d [take him]. He could play for Manchester City, he could play for Liverpool, he could play for any of the top six.
“I’m not saying starting every week, but he could come on. Look at what Shaqiri was doing at Liverpool for two or three years there. If Liverpool are looking for a midfield player to come on for, say, Thiago [Alcantara] – who gets injured a little bit – why would you not look at Eriksen?”
Owen makes Champions League prediction
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward Michael Owen has backed the Reds to run out winners in the upcoming Champions League final.
Speaking with the Daily Mail, the ex-striker said: “I think Liverpool are better than Madrid and they could blow them away. 3-1 or 3-0 is my prediction. I think they could beat them reasonably convincingly because they are an exceptional team at the minute and are too good for Madrid.
He continued: “Madrid have just done phenomenally well to get to the final. I’m sure they believe their name is on the title what with scrapping through the group stage and then of course Chelsea was incredible how they got through that. Manchester City was just mind-blowing how they beat them as well.”