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What next for Klopp and his army?

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By Saiyed Adeem Karim

Liverpool football club is the new king in town. After their successive exploits in the recently concluded FIFA Club World Cup in Doha, Qatar, there is no denying Liverpool fans the bragging rights. The team has developed a habit of rolling past everything placed ahead of them, and unapologetically so. For those who’ve been following the , no one wanted to be paired with Jurgen Klopp’s men in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage. Unfortunately, someone had to. Atletico Madrid will be the next opponent.

After an unsuccessful final in Istanbul in 2018 against Real Madrid, Liverpool went to in 2019, and for the second time of asking, Tottenham Hotspurs offered no real challenge. It was time for the Red Army to rule Europe. Going into the final, there was every talk of manager Klopp losing in all his previous finals, but there was optimism among fans and the players, that this was certainly their year. In the end, it was. The memories of 2005 were back. A sleeping giant had been awoken.

What next for Klopp and his army?

Liverpool Shaqiri Matip

Spanish giants Atletico Madrid stand on the way for Liverpool in their quest for the second European trophy in a row, and coincidentally, the first leg will be played on the same ground where Liverpool secured their sixth . But what are the views from the fans?

Football fans are divided over where this Liverpool side is heading, but Liverpool fans can only see their side going all out for another continental trophy. There is a collective agreement among fans from different European sides that Jurgen Klopp has his machine well oiled. It is a side that looks near-perfect from every angle, and with the weakening of other perennial competitors, it is time for the Reds of Merseyside to reclaim their lost European authority.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid is a pale shadow of their former selves. They lost the talismanic influence of AntoinneGriezman to Barcelona, and his replacement Joao Felix is yet to hit the ground running. Diego Costa is still, well; Diego Costa. The common assertion is that there is no better time for Liverpool to face Atletico Madrid.

Fans will be forgiven for looking beyond Wanda Metropolitano already, but looking at the possible challengers ahead, there is a lot of work to do. Bookies are placing English Premier League side Manchester City, Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as French side PSG and Bundesliga top side Bayern Munich as the main sides capable of pushing Liverpool to relinquish their crown.

Another school of thought is backing Manchester City as the favorite to go all the way. The English money bags hired Pep Guardiola to win them the elusive UCL, and last season’s disappointment in the hands of fellow EPL side Tottenham is still fresh. Guardiola’s men have a feeling that they may not be able to catch Liverpool on the domestic front, and they will prioritize the UCL. There are no certainties in football, and any of the remaining 16 teams will be strong.