LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 28, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a press conference at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp relishing “pure excitement” of a “proper European final” against Spurs

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his side are feeling “pure excitement” ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final—although Naby Keita misses out.

The German manager, who guided the Reds to last year’s final only to suffer defeat by Real Madrid, will pit his men against Tottenham in the Spanish capital on Saturday.

On Saturday’s showpiece, Klopp said: “We are all very excited about having the chance again.

“Last year we played it, and four years ago some of us played another final so we probably have more experience.

“It’s about dealing with the situation, and so far we have controlled our emotions. It’s pure excitement and we are looking forward to it.”

Guinea midfielder Keita will not feature, though, as he continues to recover from a groin injury.

There was better news for Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino, who is also grappling with a groin issue.

Klopp said: “There’s no chance for Naby but he’s progressing well.

“Bobby was part of training last week and will be a part again tomorrow. He’s looking good so he will be part of the final, I’m sure.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the 4-0 victory (4-3 on aggregate) over FC Barcelona after the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On recovering from two near misses as a Champions League manager to try and make it third time lucky this weekend, Klopp said: “I don’t like to blame my other team—I love them all—but I’ve never been part of a final with a better team, that’s true.

“Our boys mix potential with attitude in the best way I’ve ever seen.

“After Barcelona (the 4-0 semi-final comeback at Anfield), nobody believes more in this team than the team itself. We wanted it really badly.”

With regard to the special dynamic of an all-Premier League final, Klopp added: “It looks at the moment that it is not unlikely two English teams could be in the final again.

“It is a proper European final, it is not a third game against Tottenham. It is a proper European final.

“It will be very tight, no doubt. The quality of us and Spurs is very similar.

“We know a lot about Tottenham but we have had three weeks since our last game and in three weeks I would have known the name of the groundsman of Barcelona, for example.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 19, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp denied that reaching successive European Cup finals is a personal career highlight.

“The biggest moment of my career was in 2004 in getting Mainz promoted,” said the Stuttgart-born coach.

“Winning the Champions League final with Liverpool would be [the] new [one].”