Champions League: Underdog spirit drives Klopp, Di Francesco

first_imgTruck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Bucks’ Giannis says inability to score lunch not a big deal Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast ‘Stop romanticizing Pinoy resilience’ MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ LATEST STORIES Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The respect between them was evident as they spoke on Monday on the eve of the first leg at Anfield, a match that counts as the biggest in Di Francesco’s managerial career and the most significant in Klopp’s 2 1/2 years at Anfield.“I am very happy but also concerned to play against a team coached by such a good manager,” Di Francesco said, “but I believe my philosophy is quite similar.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownThat would be the high press, the high energy, the expected use of a 4-3-3 formation with the wingers drifting inside, the full backs overlapping, and the lone striker dropping off.Manchester City and Barcelona couldn’t handle the intensity of Liverpool and Roma, respectively, in a triumph for the underdogs in the quarterfinals. A week after City was overwhelmed in a 3-0 first-leg loss at Anfield, Barca was blown away by the same scoreline in a historic night at the Stadio Olimpico. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp smiles during a press conference at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain, Monday, April 23, 2018, on the eve of their Champions League semifinal with AS Roma. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)LIVERPOOL, England— The similarities between Juergen Klopp and Eusebio Di Francesco go far beyond their facial hair, designer glasses, and quirky humor.In terms of tactics, passion, mentality and their route taken in coaching, the managers of Liverpool and Roma appear to be cut from the same cloth, creating a fascinating subplot ahead of the meeting of their teams in the Champions League semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ “Klopp has already proved his worth — he has won a number of titles — and I have great ambitions, too,” said Di Francesco, who, at age 48, is two years younger than Klopp. “I will nurture this ambition to reach the final.”Di Francesco insisted Roma would not take a step back at Anfield, instead going toe to toe with Liverpool and its devastating front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.Klopp has the same mentality when Liverpool plays the heavyweights of the English Premier League, and he has a strong record in those games.“We have continued believing in ourselves, and Roma is the same,” Klopp said. “They changed manager — at least we didn’t have to do that — but he is doing a brilliant job and so they have all my respect. If anyone thinks we two are underdogs, who cares?”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “I do understand probably a lot of people would have thought this semifinal would be Barcelona vs. Manchester City,” Klopp said, “but it is not because it is football. Roma made it possible and us, as well. Maybe our situations are similar.”Both teams know their place in modern-day European soccer. Neither can stop their best players from leaving — Mohamed Salah left Roma to join Liverpool in the offseason, Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool to join Barcelona in January just as Luis Suarez did in 2014 — so they are constantly fighting against the odds.Klopp and Di Francesco didn’t take the easy route in coaching, either, starting at a relatively low base.Klopp’s first coaching role was at Mainz in the German second tier, Di Francesco’s was with Virtus Lanciano in the Italian third tier.While Klopp got Mainz promoted and then enjoyed success at his next club Borussia Dortmund, where he won the Bundesliga and reached the Champions League final in 2013, Di Francesco had posts at Pescara and Lecce before making his mark at Sassuolo and guiding the club into Serie A. He even got the team into the Europa League before joining Roma in 2017.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img

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