Villarreal surprised many by defeating European giants Juventus and Bayern in the knockout stages, reaching the semi-finals for the first time in 16 years.
“Maybe there is a slight advantage for Villarreal with a possible underestimation of Juventus or Bayern, but that will not happen with us. The opponent wants to appear in the final, but we also feel the same importance,” Klopp told reporters before the first leg at Anfield.
“This is exceptional, this is crazy, and this is an important match. A lot of coaches and players are doing their best throughout their careers without going through this moment. We have to celebrate and enjoy it.”
The German coach praised his opponent, Unai Emery, describing him as a “high-class coach”, as he managed to lead his team to adapt to different situations in the matches.
“We analyzed Villarreal’s performance,” Klopp said. “I have all the respect for Unai and his team. I watched the team up close and they are really amazing. He is a coach who pays attention to detail. He has many ways to put pressure and deal with different results.”
It seems unlikely that striker Roberto Firmino, who has missed the last two matches with a foot injury, will recover before Wednesday’s game.
Liverpool appeared in the semi-finals for the last time 3 years ago when they faced Barcelona, and Klopp said that the support of the fans, which helped him to turn his 0-3 back in 2019, will be a crucial element.
He added: “We want a similar atmosphere and a strong performance. I need to be at my best and that’s how the players are and that’s good. If the semi-final was easy in this competition, something would have gone wrong. I can’t wait to be honest.”
Liverpool has a chance to achieve an unprecedented quartet of titles this season, as it has already crowned the League Cup, reached the FA Cup final, is competing for the Premier League title and is one point behind leaders Manchester City, 5 rounds before the end.
“This is very extraordinary,” Klopp said. “We reacted very special to what happened last year, but there is still a long way to go. I realize how quickly things can change in football.”