Klopp thrilled to face Arsenal in Champions League
By Football News
Juergen Klopp's desire to play Arsenal in the Champions League has been granted, with the German revealing he had a pre-draw premonition.
Last year's finalists Borussia Dortmund will play Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, Napoli and Marseille in Group F, but it is the clashes with the London club that has the German coach salivating.
"I somehow already had the feeling last week that we would get Arsenal," Klopp said on Friday.
"I don't why but that's why I watched Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday on TV and I was impressed by how good they were."
Seemingly annual criticism of Wenger's lack of movement in the transfer market has reached boiling point this season but Klopp said he saw no problems with Arsenal's squad depth.
"Everyone kept saying they have lots of problems, Wenger can't get rid of his money, he doesn't get players for his money, but I was very impressed how strong they are," Klopp said.
The 46-year-old former Mainz head coach said the lure of playing in England was a huge incentive.
"(Playing against an English side is) appealing. To compete against people, a club who comes from a country that is similarly crazy about football as ours. And that is what it is about," Klopp said.
"Everyone is watching, every player wants to play, enjoying the atmosphere. I had to wait the majority of my life before I was allowed to be part of a game in England.
"And I wasn't disappointed. I think the atmosphere is better here, I thought that it would be different but it is still really cool there."
Klopp also admitted some surprise at seeing new Schalke signing Kevin-Prince Boateng spurn his overtures.
Boateng and Klopp have a strong relationship after the former was on loan at Dortmund from Tottenham in the second half of the 2008/09 season.
Klopp has been a big admirer of the 26-year-old midfielder and had been keen to secure Boateng from Milan, only to see him join Dortmund's arch-rivals Schalke on a four-year contract.
"I cannot say anything about it. I was really surprised. My son asked me if it was true and the first thing I said was that I couldn't imagine it but now we have to deal with the facts," Klopp said before adding with a laugh: "He (Boateng) didn't text me back."
"I thought we were in touch but this morning I sent him a text at 11:01 saying 'Schalke' with eight question marks, but nothing came back, but he doesn't have to feel ashamed, it s all good."