The UEFA Champion League is home to undisputed football. Magical and surreal moments happen in this stage of football competition that leaves unforgettable memories in the hearts of football fans.
Some players have made their mark in this stage, scoring wonderful goals and making seemingly impossible saves. Fans join to make the Champions League one of the best sports competitions as players and their coaches swore their hearts into the game.
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Today, April 27, 2022, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp will man the sideline again as he leads his team to their third semi-finals in five years. He is to face Nigeria’s Samuel Chukwueze’s side, Villarreal, after the Nigerian winger’s 88th-minute goal knocked Bayern Munich out of the Champions League. While Unai Emery is expected to stand tall at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League history speaks loud.
Before these two sides lock horns in the battle for 90 minutes, let’s review Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League history.
First UEFA Champions League Finals
After resigning from Mainz 05 in 2008, having failed to achieve promotion into the Bundesliga, Jurgen Klopp was signed shortly by Borussia Dortmund. Klopp’s managerial skills were evident as he guided Dortmund to the Bundesliga title in the 2010-2011 season.
But it was from his performance during the 2012-2013 Champions League season that Klopp began to have the world’s attention. In the competition’s semifinals, he defeated Real Madrid with a goal aggregate of 4-3, securing his first UCL finals.
On May 25, 2013, at Wembley Stadium, England, Klopp faced his Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in what was the first all-German UCL finals. It was a breathtaking, suspense-filled football action. But Klopp’s hope of lifting the decorated silver-coated cup was squashed by Argen Robbin’s 89th-minute goal.
Another miss at the title
After Klopp left Dortmund in 2015, Liverpool signed him the same year. He began to rebuild the Liverpool team and, in 2018, had his shot at the UCL again.
After defeating Roma in the semi-final on a goal aggregate of 7-6, Klopp booked his spot in the final, facing Zinedine Zidane’s side, Real Madrid, who have won the UCL title two times in succession. But Liverpool was in super form in the season and Mo. Salah was dismantling defence lines. But at the 25th minute, Salah, the Liverpool’s talisman, was injured by Sergio Ramos, who locked Salah’s arm, which resulted in a fall, and his shoulder was dislocated in the process.
It became a struggle for the Liverpool attack when Salah was substituted for Adam Lallana four minutes later due to the injury. Real Madrid clinched their third UCL champions league in a row when Gareth Bale’s brace prevented Klopp from lifting the cup.
The Champions League is no stranger to comebacks. The competition has seen incredible comebacks, but Liverpool’s semi-final comeback against Barca is regarded by many as arguably the greatest comeback in the history of the Champions League.
After a humiliating defeat at Camp Nou, Liverpool was faced with the unsurmounted task of overturning a three-goal deficit. The task that needed to be done at Anfield was made worse asSalah and Roberto Firmino were absent with injuries. But Anfield is the home of Never Walk Alone.
Divock Origi opened the goal line in the seventh minute. After half-time, substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored in quick succession to level the aggregate with Barcelona. But at the stroke of the 79th-minutes, the seemingly unexpected happened. Origi struck again, converting a sharp corner from Alexander-Arnold to a goal, and Anfield erupted with a roar. Liverpool turned a three-goal deficit to defeat Barca with an aggregate of 4-3.
The title at last
After nearly a decade in his professional career as a manager, Jurgen Klopp held the title and lifted it. It was an all-English final with EPL rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Salah would find the back of the net just 106 seconds into the game with a penalty. In the 87th-minute, substitute Divock Origi, the man whose goal booked their place in to the finals, scored to secure Liverpool’s 6th UEFA Champions League and the first for Jurgen Klopp.
Hope for another title
With Jurgen Klopp in fierce contention for the EPL League title, the Germain-born coach is eyeing the FA and, no doubt would love to secure his place at the UCL finals when he faces Villarreal this Wednesday.
SuperSport viewers on DStv can look forward to semi-final, first-leg action from the UEFA Champions League, with matches scheduled for Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 April 2022.
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