Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu in the first leg of the Champions League quarter final.
Jurgen Klopp has admitted that he fears Real Madrid ahead of the two side’s clash in the Champions League quarter final on Wednesday. Klopp’s team won the first leg of the semi-final 4-1 last time out, and progressed to the finals of the competition, despite the scare in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu after Real won the second leg 2-0.
Klopp chose to acknowlege the threat Real pose and is reluctant to promise supporters a repeat of what happened last time in the first leg, especially since the Los Blancos swept Schalke 9-2 in the previous round to reach this stage.
“I’m not a magician but we have had to get over much adversity this season,” the German coach told reporters talking about his side’s various injury setbacks.
“I have very good players and my duty is to make them better; so far we’ve done that very well.
“Our players that don’t feature in every game are going to grow up in this match. Real Madrid are more flexible now. The speed of their game is amazing.
“Barcelona, Madrid and Bayern are the best. We have to keep on evolving. Last year we were a barrier for Madrid and we are going to try to do that again.
“Playing the second leg at home may be a slight advantage but I fear Madrid trying to settle the tie here. I have seen many of their games and they never finish a match without one scoring opportunity.
“They have incredible quality and we can’t ignore that. If we play our game and keep our heads up, we will have chances.”
Klopp is not viewing his side’s ‘underdog’ tag as something that would be worrying him as he is quite used to it by now:
“This Bernabeu is amazing and we are going to need ‘cojones’. Madrid are favourites but they’ve also had their problems this season, although they’re better now with Gareth Bale and with Angel Di Maria showing all their quality.
“We are used to not being favourites and becoming uncomfortable opponents. Nobody should leave us spaces because we can be very dangerous.
“It won’t be a catastrophe if we lose. Not many teams can say they have done what we have achieved in the last 10 years.
“Maybe we won’t have possession but one-on-one duels could be decisive, although Robert Lewandowski’s [suspension-induced] absence is a pity for us.
“We are not ready to play without him but we are going to do our best. Let’s see what happens.”