Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to boss their rivalry with Manchester City and become the Boris Becker of the Premier League.
Klopp, comparing Liverpool’s battle for supremacy with City alongside the famous tennis rivalry between Germans Becker and Michael Stich, believes his side might not be top dogs just yet — but they soon can be.
‘I grew up in a time when Boris Becker and Michael Stich were the best tennis players in Germany and maybe for a few years in the world,’ said Klopp.
‘Michael Stich was an outstanding tennis player, maybe better than Boris Becker, but he was not Boris Becker.’
Stich won only one major to Becker’s six and, in a similar way, City’s recent trophy haul outstrips that of Liverpool. ‘We cannot wait until City are not there any more,’ said Klopp. ‘We want to fight them. We want to have battles with them, 100 per cent. We still have to be a bit more passionate.’
Liverpool ended City’s 22-match unbeaten start in last season’s Premier League with a 4-3 win at Anfield in January, then followed it up with victories in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final in April.
Even the slim possibility of Kevin de Bruyne returning from injury in time to face his team has not knocked Klopp’s confidence.
‘We want to beat City,’ said Klopp. ‘That’s no secret. But we want to beat the best City and Kevin de Bruyne, for sure, is part of the best City team.’