Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp believes the Champions League clash with Malaga could be one of the best games this season.
The German champions face Manuel Pellegrini’s side in the quarter-final first leg at La Rosaleda on Wednesday, and Klopp feels the tournament debutants fully deserve their place in the last eight, insisting the tie is wide open.
“We are in the Champions League where we have played very well so far. We cannot say that we will be disappointed if Malaga beat us. The name of the team does not matter,” he told a press conference.
“We have all seen Champions League games involving Malaga. They are totally deserving of their quarter-final place.
“It is the first time we have played against Malaga. We have seen and analysed a lot of their games. They are doing very well and are an experienced team with strong defensive and offensive systems. The tie is open, it is a great opportunity and we are happy to play them.
“Many teams have been eliminated and Malaga are still in the competition. I think tomorrow we will see one of the best games of the competition. The most important game of the season is tomorrow’s game. We want to reach semi-finals, let us see what will happen.”
Klopp was also full of praise for opposite number Pellegrini, and paid tribute to the talents of Malaga youngster Isco and Dortmund’s own emerging star Mario Goetze ahead of the encounter.
“Manuel Pellegrini is an excellent coach. With young players like Isco and Goetze we do not think about how old they are. Isco is an excellent player, they are both very good,” he said.
Defender Felipe Santana emphasized the team’s desire to beat Malaga and get into the semi-finals.
“We have an extra motivation to play the next stage. We are playing a good team and we want to beat them,” the Brazilian said.