Champions League: Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool beat 'best team in the world'

By @saihoops on
Liverpool, Champions League, Mohamed Salah
Soccer Football - Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - Manchester City vs Liverpool - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - April 10, 2018 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their first goal with Virgil van Dijk Reuters / Andrew Yates

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his team deserves to be in the Champions League semifinal after defeating Manchester City, who he calls the best team in the world. On Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT), Liverpool registered a 2-1 second-leg quarterfinal victory over City to advance to the Final Four of Europe's showpiece event. 

After dominating Pep Guardiola's side 3-0 in last week's first-leg at Anfield, the Reds qualified courtesy a dominating 5-1 aggregate against a team that has dominated English football in recent years.

"This league is unbelievably strong, this competition is unbelievably strong. You cannot imagine how much intensity you feel before a game like this. I really think they (Manchester City) are the best team in the world at the moment but I knew we could beat them. We completely deserve to be in the semifinals," Klopp said in his post-match news conference, via ESPN

Klopp has guided Liverpool to the Champions League semifinals for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Klopp, a native of Germany, has a history of managing overachieving underdog teams. He was the manager of the Borussia Dortmund squad that ended Bayern Munich's dominance a few years ago.

"It's all good but it's not that you can enjoy it completely, but I don't care who is in (the competition). We are here and we deserved it, and I am really happy about that. So far, we fought for each opportunity to get it -- and then to use it is so hard. But that's what we will do. The other teams will have their targets as well when we meet them in the semis; I think they are not without ambitions."

The Reds could be pitted against AS Roma in the Champions League semifinals after the Italian team stunned Barcelona on Tuesday. They will know their fate during Friday's draw. Klopp initially thought it was a joke when informed that Eusebio Di Francesco's side had overcome a 4-1 deficit against Barcelona.

"I walked up the stairs and somebody told me (Roma had qualified) -- I really thought it was a joke. Not that I don't respect Roma, the absolute opposite. They have a fantastic team -- Edin Dzeko, wow. They lost Mo Salah and they are in the semis, that's quite a big thing. I cannot say anything about the game, I didn't expect it before the game but I knew it was possible," added the German manager.

Liverpool has the chance to become the first English team to win the UEFA Champions League since Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea prevailed in a riveting final against Bayern Munich in 2012. Alex Ferguson's Manchester United (2008) and Rafael Benítez' Liverpool (2005) were the previous two English squads to win the big event.