• Jurgen Klopp excited by Atletico Madrid draw


    Jurgen Klopp has labelled Liverpool’s pairing with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 as a ‘good draw’.

    The reigning European champions progressed to the knockout stage of this season’s competition after finishing top of Group E ahead of Napoli, Red Bull Salzburg and Genk.

    They will now face Atletico, who finished as runners-up behind Juventus in Group D, in a two-legged tie after Christmas.

    Liverpool will travel to the Wanda Metropolitano, the stadium in which they won the Champions League with victory over Tottenham last term, on 18 February, before hosting Atletico at Anfield on 11 March.

    And Klopp is excited to return to a ground where he and Liverpool have ‘fantastic memories’.

    ‘It’s an interesting draw. Before the draw I actually thought it would be Madrid – either one of the two clubs – and that’s the way it is,’ he told Liverpool’s official website.

    ‘Madrid is the place where we only have fantastic memories, all of us, so that’s great, but this time we play Atletico there and it’s their home ground.

    ‘It’s a tough one, but if you go through all of the draws, there are pretty much four or five potential finals already in the last 16.

    ‘So, really, really good. A good draw, a difficult game like it should be, but how we most of the time think and say, I don’t think Mr [Diego] Simeone is running through his living room and is happy that he got Liverpool.

    ‘It will be a tough game. Two teams who are used to playing intense football, different styles and slightly different organisation of course, but both are ready for intensity and that makes it pretty tough for both.’

    ‘I think so, we’ll see,’ he added, when asked if it would be special to return to the Metropolitano. ‘I think we had the home dressing room in that game. Maybe we can ask them, can we have that dressing room again! It was really nice. It was full with Liverpool signs, but I think they’ve got rid of them.

    ‘It is fantastic. What can I say? I had one of the best nights of my life in this stadium, but this time – first and foremost – we have to go there to work and try our best.

    ‘Then they have to come to Anfield, which is a very nice place as well.’

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