Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp: We have to write our own history vs. Man City
LIVERPOOL -- Jurgen Klopp has challenged his Liverpool players to create their own history ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal with Manchester City.
Liverpool are in the last eight of the Europe's premier club competition for the first time since 2009 as they look to end their six-year trophy drought.
The club are five-time winners of the European Cup, but Klopp wants his side to embrace the past and use it to propel success in the immediate future.
"This club is already so full of history and we have to write our own history," he told a news conference on Tuesday.
"Everybody knows pretty much everything. I meet people over the world, they can tell me each goal Liverpool scored 37 years ago in the 56th minute. I think there are 10 players that did that and they can say the names. That's all good and I like that.
"This team, we need to be proud of our history, but we need to create our own history. I did that a lot in the past with my former teams. At one point you need to do your own things. The boys are ready, they are really looking forward to it -- you could see it immediately in the last game, after the draw. We are ready for that, but at the end, it stays difficult."
Liverpool head into Wednesday's tie knowing they are the only team to have inflicted a league defeat on Pep Guardiola's side all season following the thrilling 4-3 result at Anfield on Jan. 14.
"I wouldn't name them weaknesses, but they [City] are not perfect because that's not possible," Klopp said. "But that's not the moment to speak about weaknesses. It's only about giving information and showing respect -- that's what we do.
"You cannot win the game here, but we could lose it maybe here in the press conference, maybe, talking only bulls---. I'm happy when it's over and I can go back to my team."
City can clinch the Premier League title on Saturday when they host rivals Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.
Klopp is fully aware of the difficult task that Liverpool must overcome to reach the semifinals, although he went on to stress how he relishes the opportunity to take down opponents at the top of the game.
"It's just a big job to do. That's how it is," he continued. "We wanted to go in this competition as far as possible and it was clear at one point that you will face the best teams in the world.
"They are quite a special team and they will be absolutely deserved champions of the Premier League. I'm absolutely fine with that. In football it's not about being the best or something like this, it's about being perfectly prepared for the next game and to do your best.
"It's not about yesterday, it's about tomorrow. It's about the moment. It's clear City with the things they have and what they've reached already this season that confidence is probably on an outstandingly high level. That's OK, but we are not in a bad moment. We are in a good moment.
"Would it right to sit here and say: 'City at Anfield, they have no chance'? That's not true. They have a chance because they can win wherever they go. But we can win football games as well and that's the only thing I'm interested [in].
"I like difficult tasks, I like the difficult jobs because they're the most interesting. For a manager, they're the most interesting. Let's go.
"The worst thing that can happen is that you can lose a football game. There are more difficult things to get than that. It's a big opportunity and we [will] try everything to make it happen."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.