Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano tonight with the visitors strong favourites to advance from the tie. Ahead of the game Jürgen Klopp has admitted what Diego Simeone is better than him at.
Simeone is undoubtedly a giant of the game.
The 49-year-old Argentinian had a successful playing career, picking up titles in Spain and Italy during spells with Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Lazio.
As a manager he has had further success, lifting La Liga and the Europa League with Atletico.
Although his fortunes in the capital have waned this season – his side have just one win in their last five – he is still considered one of the best around.
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Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the game, Jürgen Klopp has admitted Diego Simeone was a much better footballer than himself, saying:
“I don’t know him well enough to know his managerial style. But he was a world class player and I wasn’t, that’s obvious. I don’t know the biggest difference between us.”
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Thankfully for us, ability on the pitch doesn’t always translate to ability in the dugout – see Edgar Davids.
Whilst our Jürgen never hit the same heights on the pitch as his rival, we can rest assured that he has hit his peak on the sidelines.
There are a number of top class managers that didn’t have any sort of playing career to speak of: Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez are two glaring examples – Maurizio Sarri was a banker until his thirties.
Perhaps the most important thing to take from this tongue in cheek comment is that Klopp respects Simeone immensely and rightly so. We’d much rather he was praising him than getting complacent ahead of the game.