When Jurgen Klopp arrived at Liverpool back in October of 2015, he made a promise. A promise to add a “new story” in the club’s remarkable Anfield archives, one which would see his Liverpool become “the hardest team to beat in the world”.
Fresh from penning a new deal which will see him remain with the Reds until 2026, a “delighted, humbled, blessed, privileged and excited” Klopp can also take great solace from having fulfilled his initial oath. The German’s side comprehensively dispatched Villarreal in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday night to take one giant leap towards yet another European final – and a significant step closer to achieving an unprecedented quadruple.
Though the Spanish side have been harshly criticised in the hours since, there was little they could do to prevent Klopp’s ruthless Reds from bulldozing their way to further success this season. In fact, according to Liverpool legend Michael Owen, their task was “impossible”.
The stunned former striker openly expressed his awe at Klopp’s side on Wednesday night, passionately reiterating the same point on BT Sport and on Twitter. Owen proclaimed: “It’s literally impossible to play against this press of Liverpool’s.”
In making his “literally impossible” claim, Owen all but confirmed what the rest of us are thinking: Liverpool are the hardest team to beat in the world. With a four-trophy haul in their sights, this Liverpool side are going to take some stopping.
As Klopp’s latest words hit the headlines in the wake of him having committed to a new Anfield deal, one can’t help but recall his pledge from his very first press conference. The German inherited a wounded animal back in 2015, but even then he could see the club’s potential.
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At the time, some scoffed at his suggestions Liverpool could become “the hardest team to beat in the world”, but now those doubters have been made to eat their words. Owen’s “impossible” admission only reinforces the stance that Klopp has now fulfilled his promise.
During his inaugural Liverpool press conference, Klopp said: “If it’s possible, can we be the hardest team to beat in the world? Let’s try to be this.
“First of all, we have to talk to all Liverpool fans about what our expectations [are]. Expectations can be a big problem. It needs a lot of time until the end. I’m not here to promise you will see against Tottenham the absolute new Liverpool—but some of the new Liverpool would be cool. That’s what we’ll try to do. Everything in life takes time.”
And time is exactly what Klopp has been given. In the seven years since, the German has transformed Liverpool from sleeping giant into football’s most formidable force. As proven in this season’s Carabao Cup final, as proven in the FA Cup semi against Manchester City, and as proven across this compelling Champions League campaign, Liverpool are incredibly difficult to beat. Impossible, some would say.
Klopp has built a team for the ages, one that, with each passing week, is increasingly being considered as the greatest the historic club have ever produced. It’s going to take something very special to stunt this Liverpool team headed by someone very special.
News of Klopp’s contract extension may have been met with euphoria by the club’s supporters, but it will leave the Reds’ rivals quaking in their boots. Klopp’s assembled an almost unbeatable side and he’s by no means finished yet.