The Liverpool manager criticized players who require Europe’s top club competition to extend contracts, saying they should help the club earn the spot
Jurgen Klopp admitted Champions League football is a huge draw for attracting and keeping players but questioned the logic of those who demand the tournament as a requirement for remaining with the club.
The Liverpool manager saw his side progress to the Champions League group stage with a 4-2 win over Bundesliga side Hoffenheim on Wednesday, advancing 6-3 on aggregate.
The victory in the tie sees Liverpool return to Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, when the club was under the stewardship of current Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.
And speaking post match, Klopp admitted Champions League football can come up when trying to get a player to remain at the club, though he finds the point hypocritical given that player performance is the big driver toward qualification to the tournament.
"Even if you want to extend the contract of a player in the squad they say ‘we want to play Champions League,’” Klopp said after the match. “And I always think - ‘WTF?! It’s your job to do it with us together.'
“Don’t ask to do the job so you can play Champions League. We do it together and that’s what this team did.
“That’s why I’m so happy about this - 14 months of hard work and we did it – nice!”
That being said, Klopp admitted the Champions League is a big draw for attracting talent to the side, and is pleased to see the club reach the group stage.
“It’s a big influence on the transfer market, especially if you do it [qualify for the Champions League] more often.
“I said before the game that if you talk to players - and players better than ours are difficult to find, I know a lot of people think differently but we do the work and it’s not easy to find 20 top players in each position - they say ‘oh if you play Champions League, it would be really great because the club is good, the manager is not too bad’ and all this stuff.”
Liverpool has been placed in Pot 3 of the Champions League draw, which takes place Thursday at 18:00 CEST (17:00 BST / 12:00 ET) .
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