Bayern Munich defender Mats Hummels has confessed that he is glad his side avoided Liverpool in the draw for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The Bavarians will instead take on Sevilla over two legs, while the Reds have a double-header against domestic rivals Manchester City to prepare for.
Hummels has previously worked under Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, and has talked up the work achieved by his compatriot across 30 months at Anfield.
“I know how strong Klopp’s teams are,” he told the Daily Mail. “I know how good his teams are when they get to this level. Sometimes it is a bit more difficult against the teams in the lower half of the schedule.
“But his teams always perform at the highest when they face the best teams. That’s for certain. I don’t think there was a team remaining who wanted to face Liverpool. They work so hard, they play so intense and aggressively with the quality of players they have – especially up front.
“It was almost like family between [me and Klopp at Dortmund]. Of course we had our issues from time to time. One day we would be there, screaming at each other. But the next day? It was all fine. He understood me, I understood him.
“Each of us would know why the other one would act like he did. We never, ever had a big problem. He always considers what you say. He doesn’t always agree and he has the final word. But he considers it and he will say ‘OK’ or… ‘Think about it again’. He is the boss.”
Liverpool have scored 28 goals in eight Champions League matches prior to the last-eight stage.