Jurgen Klopp showed the utmost respect for Carlo Ancelotti this week. The two bosses will compete in the UEFA Champions League final.
We’re just days away from the UEFA Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. It promises to be a fantastic game, with two attacking teams coached by two world-class managers.
Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti have both won this competition before, after all. Klopp lifted the trophy in 2019 with Liverpool, while the Italian boasts wins in 2003, 2007 and 2014 across spells with AC Milan and Real.
And Klopp was eager to point to that as he delivered his opinion on Ancelotti this week. The Liverpool boss has all the respect in the world for his counterpart – but that won’t count for anything on Saturday.
“The respect for him from my side couldn’t be bigger,” said Klopp, per Liverpoolfc.com. “He is incredible, he is pure experience and very, very, very successful.
“He won everything everywhere and will never stop and I really respect that, but that doesn’t mean anything for this particular game.”
Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti
It’s the right way to go about it. Klopp can’t help but respect Ancelotti for all he’s done – and the Italian is one of the more likeable managers around as it is.
Ancelotti has won every major title in Europe, after all, as part of a glittering career that spans nearly 30 years. He’s also someone with a rich history against Liverpool.
He was at AS Roma in 1984 that lost the European Cup final to Liverpool in Rome – Ancelotti missed the game through injury, however. His attempt at revenge came 21 years later, only for the Reds to come back and beat his Milan side from 3-0 down.
Two years later, Ancelotti did get revenge as Milan beat Liverpool 2-1 in Athens. A spell with Everton last season then saw him guide the Toffees to their first Anfield win in the 21st century (even if the lack of crowd means it barely counts).
Now, Ancelotti will reignite his Liverpool rivalry once again and bids to be the first manager to lift the trophy four times. The Reds will hope they can add more heartbreak to his list, though.
And despite all the respect, Klopp is the man who can deliver it.