Jurgen Klopp has spoken out on the difference in pressure between his Liverpool side and Flamengo. The two teams will meet in Saturday’s Club World Cup final.
Liverpool’s progress to the final saw them defeat CONCACAF Champions Monterrey. Many criticised the team, however, as Liverpool had chosen to put everything into that game rather than the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa.
The two games were within 24 hours of one another and the club made a tough decision. That didn’t stop the criticism, though, as many felt the Carabao Cup was more valuable.
But that’s far from the attitude outside of England. Team take the Club World Cup seriously, particularly out of Europe, and Klopp feels that gives Flamengo an advantage.
“The situation is different for us as it is for Flamengo,” said Klopp, per the BBC. “They came here with a clear order to win it and come back home as heroes. We got told to stay at home and play in the Carabao Cup.
“That is a massive difference.”
And it really is. Flamengo head into this final with all the motivation in the world – you can guarantee a fully-fired-up team. Liverpool, on the other hand, are repeatedly told that it’s all worthless.
And yet, it’s a trophy Liverpool should want to win. They’ve never been world champions, not even winning the old Intercontinental Cup back in the 80s. They lost one of those attempts to Flamengo, funnily enough, as Zico tore through Bob Paisley’s side.
So not only can Liverpool make history, they can get revenge. The motivation is there waiting for them but English football seems determined to hold them back with claims that it doesn’t mean anything.
It’s a strange attitude, seeing as the world champions haven’t played in England for a decade. Liverpool can make history then, but it’s entirely up to Klopp to remind them of that. Flamengo, though, won’t need much reminding.