Jurgen Klopp has had many great nights as a manager but Tuesday night will still be one that lives long in his memory and the team talk he made before the match will stay with his players too.
Every great sports film needs one great speech, usually by a coach or manager, to make sure that the person or team involved will be in the right frame of mind to battle against adversity.
Al Pacino’s speech in Any Given Sunday might be the perfect example of the inspirational team talk. ‘In any fight it’s the guy who’s willing to die that’s gonna win that inch,’ stirring stuff.
In 2005 all the talk was about exactly what Rafa Benitez must have said when his Liverpool team came into the dressing room at half time of the Champions League final, 3-0 down against one of the best teams in Europe, AC Milan.
14 years later and Jurgen Klopp had a similar task ahead of the Reds’ Champions League semi final second leg with Barcelona, where they also found themselves 3-0 down.
Speaking to the club’s website defender Dejan Lovren revealed what Klopp said to the team before kick off saying:
“Before the game he did an amazing speech.
“It was something brilliant and I think he lifted us so high. It was just ‘Believe! Put it in your mind that we can do it’. It was something that we’ve never heard before.
“He said, “Boys, believe. One or two goals, even if we don’t score in the first 15, 20 minutes, believe in the 65th, 66th, 67th minute that we can score, and then with Anfield behind us, trust me guys, we can do it. We did it once against Dortmund, we can do it tonight. Just show f******* balls tonight,’ And we did it!”
The Liverpool manager will be hoping that he can find the words to inspire his team again on June 1st, when they play either Spurs or Ajax in the final, but his history in finals isn’t great.
In the last few years he’s lost in two German Cup finals and a Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund and League Cup, Europa League and Champions League final losses with Liverpool, winning just one cup final with Dortmund.
If the German needs to look for inspiration for the final he can do a lot worse than use Pacino or Benitez.