Klopp backed by Benitez to repeat Liverpool’s Champions League miracle in Istanbul


The Reds have struggled in the Premier League this year but could still save their season with an unlikely European win

Jurgen Klopp has been backed by Rafa Benitez to repeat his feat from 2004-05 and win the Champions League despite a disappointing Premier League campaign.

Liverpool, who sit five points outside the top four with nine games to play, face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals and could play Chelsea, their semi-final opponents in 2005, in the following round.

With the final set to be played at Istanbul’s Ataturk Stadium, the venue for Benitez’s side’s miracle comeback against AC Milan, there is plenty of talk of destiny for Liverpool.

What has Benitez said?

Asked if Liverpool could go all the way again in Europe, Benitez told the Daily Mail: “For sure. Liverpool has the potential and the manager, it’s not a problem.

“People talk about Istanbul like we were lucky. But we were not lucky to win the Champions League because we played against Juventus [in the quarter-finals], that was a top side and they played 5-3-2.

Rafa Benitez Steven Gerrard Liverpool Champions League 2005

“Tactically we had to adapt to a very difficult opponent and then, because we did well, the confidence was growing and growing. And we played Chelsea, at this time it was the best team maybe in Europe – for sure in England – [but] our team had so much confidence that tactically we could manage. We were a team with belief.

“I think Liverpool can do the same and go to the final obviously. AC Milan was a great team but the team was growing in confidence because, in these knockout competitions, we could do it.”

Liverpool’s route to the Champions League final

Liverpool are looking for revenge for the 2018 final in their quarter-final clash with Real Madrid. The first leg is at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 6, before the home leg at Anfield eight days later.

If they progress, Liverpool will play either Chelsea or Porto in the semi-finals, which begin on April 27-28 and end on May 4-5.

The final in Istanbul is then scheduled for May 29.

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