Thomas Tuchel pays tribute to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

J├╝rgen Klopp

Thomas Tuchel admits that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp laid the foundations for his Dortmund side to prosper.

Quoted by ESPN, Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel has hailed Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp as a massive first-leg Europa League quarter-final looms at Signal Iduna Park on Thursday.

Klopp returns to the ground on which he was, and still is, revered by Dortmund fans following a wonderful seven-year spell which yielded two Bundesliga crowns and a Champions League final placing back in 2013, losing to Bayern Munich.

The 48-year-old left Die Borussen last summer, but Tuchel, his successor, has done an excellent job thus far, with the German giants clear favourites to win the Europa League after dismantling Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 on aggregate in the previous round.

Klopp's return is bound to be a major subplot tomorrow, and Tuchel acknowledges that his compatriot, whose legacy remains in the form of players like Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, laid the foundations for his Dortmund side to shine.

"Borussia Dortmund is what it is now because of Jurgen Klopp," he told a news conference, via ESPN. "Anything but a great welcome would be a surprise. If it's eight months or eight years, Klopp's input will still stand.

"He's one of the most competitive guys I know. He deserves a welcome, but he's as eager to win as are we.

"What he says doesn't factor in for us. Who is favourite does not play an important role. It doesn't affect how we play. It doesn't interest me."

 

Based on what Tuchel's side did to Spurs in Germany, Liverpool fans could be forgiven for being slightly apprehensive about tomorrow night. After all, they smashed a Lilywhites side who sit 17 points clear of Klopp's boys in the Premier League, winning 3-0 on the night and 2-1 at White Hart Lane a week later.

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