Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are not the best team in Europe despite their Champions League success last season, as he believes rivals Manchester City are the best team on the planet.
Klopp’s side became European champions for a sixth time courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Tottenham in June, 12 months on from their agonising defeat to Real Madrid in the 2018 final. Manchester City in contrast have not gone beyond the quarter-finals for the past four seasons.
The situation is different domestically, with Pep Guardiola’s side winning back-to-back Premier League titles including a domestic treble last time out.
This season, Liverpool find themselves five points clear at the top of the table after winning all five of their league matches so far while City are in second after slipping to a shock 3-2 defeat against Norwich last time out that left Guardiola congratulating his Premier League rivals at winning the title.
Despite their contrasting fortunes this campaign Klopp has dismissed suggestions his side are the best team in the continent as there is currently no one better than Guardiola’s outfit.
“We can’t be the best team in Europe as Man City are the best team in the world. That’s the same planet, I think,” said the German.
Liverpool begin the defence of their Champions League title against Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on Tuesday.
Klopp insists his side will not feel any additional pressure with being European champions.
“We haven’t spoken about being Champions League holders,” he added. “Until Saturday we were really focused on Newcastle and yesterday we had a session and today we had one. We spoke about the competition then.
“The boys will see in the meeting tomorrow morning they have to learn again. We saw that last season here. Napoli are so strong, I really like watching them. The competition isn’t something we think about, but now we prepare for this game.
“At the moment we are trying to reach the same level as last season, and we want to be as consistent as last year but play our football of this year. Use momentum when it’s there, stay in the game. Improvement we will judge at the end of the season.
“We don’t feel the burden of being champions. It was long ago (that we won it).
“Will teams play differently against us? I have no clue. I’ve never won the Champions League before. I hope we are prepared for that.”