BERLIN: Liverpool’s German coach Jurgen Klopp had fun with an English translator after his side’s goalless Europa League draw at Augsburg on his first trip to Germany with the Reds.
Having previously said Liverpool have a good chance of winning what he describes as “the little Champions League”, Klopp was frustrated as his side failed to take their chances in the round of 32, first leg in Bavaria on Thursday.
Liverpool must now win the return leg at Anfield next Thursday, while his former club Borussia Dortmund won their corresponding match 2-0 at home to Porto and could potentially meet Klopp’s Liverpool if both teams advance to the next round.
The 48-year-old Klopp was asked how he would feel if Dortmund drew Liverpool in the last 16, but dismissed the question by pointing out that Borussia now face a tough away leg in Porto.
With a smile, he used a German figure of speech, which translates directly as “the grapes are hanging high in Porto” — meaning Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund face a tough match — knowing the poor translator would struggle to make sense of that in English.
When the red-faced translator, Englishman Peter Clark, said: “Dortmund will be in dreamland in Porto” — confusing the German for ‘grapes’ with ‘dreamland’, which sound similar in the language — Klopp was quick to correct him.
“No! ‘The grapes hang high’ means it will be a big challenge. That it will be extremely difficult to win in Porto,” Klopp told the embarrassed translator, followed by a peal of laughter.
Klopp had earlier been irritated by the questions from a British reporter who suggested Liverpool’s failure to win in Augsburg was a setback.
“The English journalists must have more respect for the Bundesliga,” snapped Klopp.
“You cannot come here and just win 5-0 against Augsburg. Today, it just wasn’t possible to beat Augsburg.”
But Klopp was clearly irritated by Liverpool’s performance.
“In various situations we made the wrong decisions,” he fumed.
“We have to play better going forwards, with more tempo, and we have to make more of our chances.
“We need to use our counter-pressing more. The boys can do much better, but they also have to show that.”
The Europa League return leg next Thursday comes just three days before Liverpool play Manchester City in the English League Cup final — Klopp’s first chance of silverware in his debut season on Merseyside.