Klopp wants Reds to show Eye of the Tiger

LONDON • Jurgen Klopp has likened Liverpool to Rocky Balboa on the basis they must work and compete harder than any of their rivals to win the Premier League title.

The Reds begin their campaign at home to West Ham today amid high expectations, having invested £177 million (S$310 million) - the most of English clubs - in a squad that reached last season's Champions League final. But manager Klopp has dismissed claims that the spending spree makes them favourite to challenge Manchester City for the title.

"We are still Rocky Balboa, not Ivan Drago," said the German, a big fan of the Rocky films, when describing his team's prospects.

The analogy was not that Liverpool are underdogs, he later explained, but that they must be prepared to sacrifice everything to end the club's 28-year wait for a 19th league championship.

"It's not about being the underdog, not one little bit," he said.

"I don't want to be the underdog. I want to win, and Rocky won.

"Now we have the best tools of all? It's not true."

Klopp will hand a Premier League debut to Brazil international Alisson, who was the world's most expensive goalkeeper at £65 million for less than a month until Chelsea signed Kepa Arrizabalaga for £71.6 million on Thursday.

Liverpool's new No. 1 admits his aim is to not only justify the transfer fee but, similarly to Mohamed Salah following his £36.9 million move from Roma last summer, also to make it appear a bargain in time.

Alisson said: "Salah was thought a good deal for Roma but now people say it is a good deal for Liverpool. I want to work hard to ensure I am a really good deal for Liverpool."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 12, 2018, with the headline 'Klopp wants Reds to show Eye of the Tiger'. Print Edition | Subscribe