Liverpool supervisor Jurgen Klopp mentioned he nonetheless finds it exhausting to heat to Atletico Madrid’s model of play regardless of his deep admiration for the Spanish champions’ coach Diego Simeone.
Klopp hit out at Atletico’s defensive ways when Simeone’s males received 3-2 after extra-time at Anfield within the Champions League last-16 in March 2020 to progress 4-2 on combination.
The German excused that outburst on Monday, saying it confirmed his frustration at being pressured to play the sport with a full crowd simply days earlier than the coronavirus pandemic shut down European soccer for months.
“I was angry, disappointed about a lot of things with the world in the moment,” mentioned Klopp. “Then we had to focus on soccer in a very unusual circumstance.
“Diego Simeone is doing everything right. He is the current Spanish champion. He is at Atletico for I don’t know how long, but very successful there.”
Klopp mentioned he revered what Atletico had achieved however most popular a distinct model of soccer.
“Do I like it? Not too much but that’s normal because I prefer a different type of football,” he mentioned. “Other coaches prefer other styles of football so nobody has to like it — it just has to be successful and that is what Atletico are for sure.”
Liverpool are unbeaten in 11 video games this season, thanks largely to Virgil van Dijk’s return from knee ligament harm.
The Dutch captain was injured final October by a wild lunge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in a bad-tempered Merseyside derby.
Van Dijk resisted the temptation to hurry again to signify his nation at Euro 2020 and Liverpool have reaped the advantages as he has slotted again on the coronary heart of the defence.
Simeone mentioned the Dutchman’s return has given the Reds the “security” they lacked final season to assault extra freely.
But Van Dijk himself believes he nonetheless has some approach to go to get again to his finest.
“I don’t think there are a lot of examples of players coming back from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), a complex knee injury, that’s back to his best after a year, so I’ve work to do,” mentioned Van Dijk.
“I need to be pretty much as good as I will be for the workforce I play for, the followers I play for and the nation I play for. The solely factor to get there’s play video games and get extra assured within the belongings you do.
“It’s going the right way and I’m feeling fine so there is always room for improvement.”
Liverpool are heading in the right direction for the Champions League final 16 after profitable their opening two video games forward of the journey to Madrid.
Atletico wanted a late turnaround to beat 10-man AC Milan of their final European outing, however are additionally well-placed on 4 factors from two video games in Group B.