Real Madrid will play in front of a full Anfield for the first time since 2014 on Tuesday, and Jurgen Klopp has urged Liverpool fans to be “on their toes.”
Though Liverpool and Real have enjoyed a fierce rivalry in recent years in Europe, the last time the two sides met on Merseyside it was behind closed doors.
The quarter-final decider in April 2021 was played to empty stands, with Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak helping keep a clean sheet but Real going through as 3-1 aggregate winners.
A lot has changed since then, though Real have remained on top with triumph over the Reds in the Champions League final last year, and Tuesday is set up as a revenge mission.
Playing a vital role in Liverpool’s pursuit of victory will be the Anfield crowd, and Klopp wants supporters to “cherish” the moment.
“For tomorrow night, whatever we would have done at the weekend I would have expected us to fight with all we have,” he told reporters.
“You always work so hard to qualify for the Champions League, so I really think you have to cherish these moments.
“[Moments] where you just think ‘OK, that’s Liverpool-Real Madrid’. We all dreamt of that. We all did.
“That will never change, that it will be a special game. I expect Anfield on their toes, to be honest.
“I’m really happy for the people, that they saw us in better shape the last two games, that they have more things to look forward to.
“Let’s go together again.”
The power of Anfield is undeniable, and Real themselves felt it back in 2009 when Rafa Benitez’s side produced a 4-0 victory to progress to the quarter-finals.
But Klopp is wary that, in hosting the first game, Liverpool will then need to head to Madrid for a second leg played in a similar atmosphere.
“I played in a full Bernabeu and that’s a pretty impressive audience as well, let me say it like this,” he admitted.
“[Anfield] will help, hopefully, tomorrow night. I hope our people will give their absolute everything. I can’t wait to play the game, really.
“But going then to the Bernabeu is a tough place to go as well. They turned around a lot of things.
“We don’t even have a lead yet, so that will be the hardest work.
“But who cares? It’s Champions League and it’s one of the biggest games in the world – at least one of the biggest games I ever heard about.”
Klopp added: “We need to play a super game. We need to play two super games, to be honest, to get through.
“But I have no problem with that, because if you don’t play your best you don’t have a chance.
“Real Madrid doesn’t have to play their best and still have a chance! That’s the difference. That’s pretty special. But I can’t wait.”