Klopp admits Liverpool's financial well-being depends on Champions League progression

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2018-19

Jurgen Klopp says the financial benefits of a successful Champions League run are too big to ignore as his Liverpool side prepare to face Bayern Munich for a place in the quarter-finals.

The Reds flew to Bavaria on Tuesday afternoon knowing a score draw will be enough to send them through to the last eight, following a tight goalless draw between the sides in the first leg at Anfield three weeks ago.

As beaten finalists last season, Klopp’s side certainly know the value of going deep in the competition. Liverpool earned more than £70 million from their run to Kiev, with only Roma and Real Madrid collecting more.

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That money, as well as the exposure from such high-profile accomplishments, has helped – and will continue to help – Klopp strengthen his squad with top-quality signings.

Liverpool, bolstered by the likes of Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho, arrive into this tie as serious Premier League challengers, a point behind Manchester City with eight games to play.

That has led some to question whether the Champions League, for all its glamour, may be viewed as something as an unwelcome distraction.

Klopp, though, dismissed the idea.

“It is not that the players prefer the Champions League to winning the league,” he said. “But they like this kind of game.

“There are only two interesting games in the whole of Europe that night. Let’s play them, let’s watch them. This is the spotlight you want as a professional football player, so let’s play the game.

“We all have to qualify constantly for Champions League. That’s what gives us the money to improve to do the next step and the next step. When we qualified by beating Napoli [in the group stages] I’m not sure how much but it was [worth] a lot of money in one game.

“I didn’t think a second about that before that game. It wasn’t like ‘Oh my God! We have to earn this money for the club!’ We only wanted to go through. But after we got through it was like ‘Wow! That’s proper!’

“It is a money-throwing competition, if I can say that, and we have to be in it as long as possible because we have to improve the situation for the club.”

Fabinho Robert Lewandowski Liverpool Bayern Munich 2018-19Getty Images

He added: “It’s not like we always ask people ‘Do you have some money? Do you have some money?’ We have to earn most of the money for ourselves with the football that we play. That is exactly what you can do in the Champions League.

“If it happens, it will be a great night. If it doesn’t happen, it is not the end of the world.”

Klopp spoke after the first leg of how Bayern had showed his side respect by the way they played, looking to sit deep defensively and to play on the counter-attack.

Wednesday’s game is likely to be different, with Niko Kovac’s side in front of their own supporters and enjoying an excellent run of form, which has taken them to the top of the Bundesliga.

“It’s all about the situation in that moment,” Klopp said. “You have seen how it can change in three weeks. There was a little bit of criticism around – not free-flowing football and second in the league, which for Bayern is a deep crisis. Our image and our strengths play into this: how we can play if a team is not 100 per cent against us?

“It’s not the first time it has happened to us but it’s a very good sign in general for us as a club that we have that respect again within the game. We have developed a lot and the boys have improved. We are a proper contender in a difficult competition with only fantastic teams left.

“It was not surprising they played like this. It’s normal, they adapted. Bayern is famous for going for results they think are good for them. Usually they try more to win than they did at Anfield but on the night they thought 0-0 was the perfect result. Now we have to show it is not like this – we have to score if we want to go through; they have to score if they want to go through. This will change the game a little bit but not too much, especially probably at the beginning.”

Liverpool will be without Naby Keita for the game, with the Guinean left out of the travelling party due to injury.