Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said Jurgen Klopp is generating public support for Liverpool because they are “the master of being the underdog”.
Tuchel’s team faces Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Saturday ‘not the situation you want’ on the eve of the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday (11.45am ET Stream live on ESPN+, US only) are aiming to end their own season at the highest level while halting their opponents’ pursuit of an unprecedented quartet, having beaten Chelsea to win their first four potential titles in the Carabao Cup final in February.
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claimed earlier this week that “everyone in this country – the media and everyone else” – supports Liverpool and would prefer to see them lift the Premier League title.
Tuchel has now suggested that Klopp’s magic has enabled him to garner support for his two clubs at Liverpool – including their Champions League finalists – and his former club, Borussia Dortmund.
“You know Klopp is the master of being the underdog,” Tuchel said. “He can convince you to be the underdog against Villarreal and against Benfica [in this season’s Champions League]It is a miracle how they draw even against them.
“He can talk you into it and he does it all the time, he does it many times. That’s part of him, and that’s also like where empathy comes from.
“There’s nothing to be jealous of on my part, Klopo is a great guy, a funny guy, one of the best coaches in the world and that’s what he does.
“When he coached Dortmund, the whole country loved Dortmund. So now he coaches Liverpool and you have the feeling that the whole country loves Liverpool.
“It’s a big, big, big asset to him and that’s what you deal with if you play a team against him, it’s always like that, but it’s always the fun part and so if we’re the bad guys. [on Saturday]No problem, then. “Forty-nine or 40%, then no problem. We’re taking that role, we don’t want to have the sympathy of the country tomorrow, we want to have the trophy.”
Asked specifically about Guardiola’s claim that the nation wants Liverpool to succeed, Tuchel said: “I’m not a Liverpool fan. I can understand why he’s coming forward. [that comment]. I can understand why he has this feeling. In general, I would say that it is difficult to argue with her.
“It’s not about Chelsea, it’s about Manchester City and Liverpool, right? I didn’t say I agree 100% but I can see that. I think I can understand what he meant. There is a lot of sympathy for Liverpool in the country. They are working hard for that. And no offense, I can understand what he means.
“I think it’s normal, it’s everywhere. I’m not sure about that in France, it’s the team I managed to manage. [Paris Saint-Germain]! But, yes it is similar everywhere. There is great sympathy everywhere. There is a lot of sympathy for Liverpool, and I feel that too, across the country.
“And I can understand that, and I can understand it. I have friends in Germany, of course that’s also because of Jürgen, but in general what this club stands for and how they run the business, how the fans pay their team. You have the feeling that it’s totally about football and it’s like big history in This club has a lot of sympathy for him.
“If I fought against him, like Pep for so many years, I can understand the comment he sometimes feels like that. But at the same time, I don’t think he’s just here. He’s in Germany like that and in France very much.”