Jurgen Klopp is unconcerned by whether Liverpool will receive credit if they win the Club World Cup on Saturday for the first time in their history, becoming only the second English team after Manchester United to don the gold badge on their shirts.
The German spotlighted the contrast in build-up to the tournament enjoyed by their opponents Flamengo ahead of the showdown at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, repeating the assertion that “they have the advantage of everybody tells them every day how much it means to them, and we get told all the time, ‘why are you here?’ So it is not exactly the same preparation, but we are now here for five days so we want to show it means more to us.”
Pressed on whether there would be irritation if the lack of support from England’s authorities aligned with the belief that Liverpool should have prioritised the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa translated into a deficiency of plaudits if Liverpool triumph, Klopp responded: “Who cares?
“Really, you do not win something so people will say, ‘oh, you won it’.
“You win it to celebrate it. I know Liverpool fans will celebrate like crazy, and other people will say, ‘who cares’. I could not care less. You do not win to show the whole world we are here.
“You get it and then we will say it is nice.
“I don’t know if you can keep it or get a replica, but it would still just be nice to achieve something, doing it the best way you can. So far we have had a good time. It was difficult for different reasons. The weather was not so good, which gave us the opportunity to adapt slightly. We had sleeping issues and now we are settled and we can use the power we have.
“That is how football should be. Do not worry what it means to other people. Win because you are there. Let’s give it a proper try.”
Klopp noted parallels between the Club World Cup and the Super Cup, which Liverpool lifted during August against Chelsea in Istanbul.
“Winning it would be great and I don’t even know exactly know how the trophy looks,” the manager said. “But I didn’t know that about the Super Cup either and that is a good example.
“Before the game, people said: ‘Do you really need it?’ Then you play it and you win it and it feels incredible. It was really a big one. So let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Liverpool have the chance to debut the Club World Cup on the champions wall at Melwood, but Klopp has refused to get swallowed by talk of history.
“I don’t know how you approach something that has never been done before, like landing on the moon,” he said.
“We’ll just try to play a really, really good game and win against a good side. We are playing against a side from a country and continent where this competition means everything to everyone and, in England, we have to explain why we come here.
“That’s how Europe looks at the world, that we are the centre of attention. Since we are here we respect it more and more second by second by second because you get a feeling for it and you watch the games and it is all or nothing with everyone fighting for everything.
“So we saw that, adapted to it, won our semi-final in a very difficult situation and now we try to do the same against a very good side that finished the season on a super high, by turning everything around from eight points behind to 16 point in front – that’s impressive. While winning the Copa Libertadores, too.”
For Klopp, the external perceptions of Liverpool’s participation in the competition is inconsequential when pitted against his team’s desire to be crowed world champions.
“I am pretty happy with the attitude of my team, to be honest,” he said. “They do not complain a lot. I never had to convince my team to come and play the competition.
“They were completely on fire from the first moment when they heard about it. We spoke about it a few months ago and I asked how did they want to play it. It wasn’t that they could decide, but how did they see it?
“They said: ‘we go!’ Since then it’s never changed. For them, it never changed.”