The press conference before the match day is simply part of it, whether the coaches want it or not. What are the tactics, how strong is the opponent and which players are missing due to injury – even before games in the Champions League it is usually a banter that takes place in the press centers of the clubs.
This was also the case on Tuesday evening before the game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool (Wednesday, 9 p.m., in the WELT live ticker). Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp was in a good mood and answered questions until a journalist asked him about the city of Naples. He wanted to know from Klopp whether it could be dangerous for Liverpool fans in the Italian port city.
A question that the 55-year-old did not like at all. “That’s an embarrassing question of yours! They want to make headlines. I really don’t understand. Are you from Naples? Do you think it’s a dangerous city?” Klopp asked back annoyed. He doesn’t know and doesn’t live a normal life in Naples: “I’m being protected, I’m going to a hotel and now you’re asking me what I think of Naples?”
But the journalist’s question seemed to have a justification. Because Liverpool FC itself warned its fans to be careful in Naples before the game. “First of all, and this is very important, especially with regard to the safety of everyone, we advise our fans not to make their own way to the stadium. This advice comes from both the Italian police and the British Embassy in Naples,” said manager Andy Hughes. He understands that the fans want to make this trip an experience: “In this case, however, I ask the fans not to go through the city on their own or to show the club colors during their stay in Naples.”
Despite the Liverpool manager’s urgent warning, Klopp showed little understanding for questions about security: “You know exactly what we’re talking about here. It’s about very specific fans meeting other very specific fans and then something can happen. But that has nothing to do with the city. But I’m not here to give you headlines.”
Klopp prefers to deliver headlines with his team on the pitch. After a very mixed start to the season in the Premier League with just nine points after six games they are seventh in the table. A defeat in Naples should turn the weak start into a crisis.