Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes success in the Europa League will instill a title-winning mentality at Anfield, ahead of their semi-final first leg clash with Villarreal on Thursday.
The Reds marched into the tournament’s final four following a come-from-behind victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals last week.
And Klopp feels Liverpool’s cup-winning pedigree will stand them in good stead as they prepare to take on Villarreal in the first leg at Estadio El Madrigal.
“I feel there is a power at this club,” he said. “I felt it when we played Dortmund at Anfield and I saw it in the streets before the game.
“I believe that there are some clubs who are always more likely to win trophies than other clubs.
“I don’t know where that comes from, but I felt it for the first time when I was at Dortmund. Michael Zorc [sporting manager at Dortmund] told me when Bayer Leverkusen were breathing down our necks at the end of one season that I shouldn’t worry.
“He said they wouldn’t win because Leverkusen never win and that Dortmund were a club that wins titles. I feel that at Liverpool, and I think the supporters do too.”
Klopp also talked up the value and importance of the Europa League, saying that it should not be taken for granted.
“I heard that the image of the Europa League was not good in England and I don’t really understand why,” Klopp said.
“The players have liked it, and I would have been happy with the Europa League even if we’d gone out in the quarter-finals. It was a nice journey, a good experience.
“Usually, you work the whole year to go to Europe so to be in it was a nice bonus. I know the top four is the top four, but if you are fifth, take it, use it, do whatever. I like playing matches, whatever the competition.”