Jurgen Klopp has urged his players to grasp the chance of becoming Liverpool legends here in Switzerland, writes David Maddock in Basel.
After insisting his team are in “perfect” condition for Wednesday’s Europa League final against holders Sevilla, the German revealed his message to the players will be not to throw away one of the greatest honours in football.
Kop boss Klopp said: “It is a wonderful story to tell your grandchildren when you are old, about being a Liverpool legend.
“How it feels to be a Liverpool legend, I have no idea. But it is one of the best things you can feel in football. I would be really pleased for the boys if they can do it.”
A Champions League place is at stake as well as a trophy, and Liverpool face a season without any European football if they fail to beat the Spanish club, who have won this competition four times in the past 10 years, and been to its final on two further occasions.
Klopp has told his players to be prepared to run themselves into the ground at St Jakob Park.
He said: “If you want to get to the highest level you need to be ready to fall really deep. If you are not ready for this, you cannot reach this.
“If you only want to take the things you have for sure, then you have no chance to get the real special things – and this is special for us. It is a big opportunity. It is a big chance.”
Klopp has lost the last four finals he has contested as a manager.
Asked what he wants here, he replied: “Nice party, yeah? I’m quite good at celebrating things. It is long ago that I celebrated something really so I’m ready.”
And after witnessing some intense training session in recent days, he is supremely confident his team has never been more ready either.
“In my opinion we are really in a perfect moment to play a final. I’m really happy, it’s the best moment to play a final,” said the 48-year-old.
“That doesn’t mean all is already done. No, it’s far away from this. It’s only about the preparation.
LIVERPOOL’S ROUTE TO THE FINAL
Bordeaux 1-1 Liverpool – Group Stage
Liverpool 1-1 Sion – Group Stage
Liverpool 1-1 Rubin – Group Stage
Rubin 0-1 Liverpool – Group Stage
Liverpool 2-1 Bordeaux – Group Stage
Sion 0-0 Liverpool – Group Stage
Augsburg 0-0 Liverpool (round of 32)
Liverpool 1-0 Augsburg (round of 32)
Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United (round of 16)
Manchester United 1-1 Liverpool (round of 16)
Dortmund 1-1 Liverpool (quarter-finals)
Liverpool 4-3 Dortmund (quarter-finals)
Villarreal 1-0 Liverpool (semi-finals)
Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal (semi-finals)