Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is reportedly taking legal action after being accused of making “xenophobic” remarks towards Manchester City and their owners.
The 55-year-old sparked debate after suggesting that “nobody can compete with Man City [in the transfer window]” due to the nature of their ownership, i.e. the financial backing of Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi United Group.
Senior figures at City are said to have been deeply displeased with his comments, labelling them “borderline xenophobic”, which Klopp has since said couldn’t be further from his character.
As you can see in the clip above, Klopp insists this kind of allegation is “miles away from [his] personality” and would “hate” himself if that were the case, arguing instead that it was a simple misinterpretation and not the first time his comments have been lost in translation.
Now, though, as per The Telegraph, the German coach is said to be pursuing a lawsuit over the response from City Football Group (CFG) personnel, though the outlet offered little more detail as to the specifics of each party’s claims and counterclaims.
Speaking before their 1-0 victory over the Premier League champions on Sunday, he went on to argue that City were able to add the best striker on the market in Erling Haaland to their already world-class and highly expensive team of players “no matter what it cost”.
He also went on to suggest that there are “only three clubs in world football that can do what they want”: City, PSG and Newcastle – all of which are operated by business groups from Gulf nations.
In the case of Newcastle, now rebuilding after a multi-billionaire investment, their new owners acquired the club with money from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund: a collection of sovereign wealth taken directly from the state. We’re talking about the might of an entire country’s economy here.
PSG’s setup is similar, with the club operated by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), a group owned by Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir (ruler) of Qatar. City are also owned by Arab royalty in Sheikh Mansour.
While Klopp’s levelled the same comments regarding immense wealth at City, many were quick to point out that his Liverpool team finally won the league after having paid then-record fees for the likes of defender Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson. They’ve not exactly struggled for money themselves.
Admitting after his initial comments that the likes of City wouldn’t appreciate his opinion, Klopp has since reiterated: “I am not sure we have to be best friends with other clubs. I am not sure anybody wants to be best friends with us.”
Nevertheless, whether he thinks his side lost out on certain trophies “because [they] cannot act like [City]” in the transfer market, Liverpool still has the fifth-most expensive squad in the world, let alone the league, valued at approximately £669 million.
Liverpool did lose out to the City at this year’s Ballon d’Or ceremony, though, with Pep’s side taking home the Club of the Year award while Klopp’s men came second ahead of La Liga winners and European champions Real Madrid. Nevertheless, they still managed a domestic cup double last season.
Upon arriving at the Etihad, food and drink will be available to from a number of different vendors around City Square from 10:00am, with the official welcome ceremony getting underway at 10:30.
Presenters for the day will guide you through all of the pre-match talking points and will also be joined by legendary goalkeeper Karen Bardsley on stage, who made over a century of appearances for the club.
With both City and United boasting nine Euro 2022-winning Lionesses between them, fans can visit the Cityzens hub to have their photo taken with the trophy ahead of kick-off and even create their own Dream Team video.
You can also get involved in a number of other activities such as penalty shootouts, table tennis and its football equivalent, ‘futtoc’ (we know at least one of you had played some form of foot tennis).
Just after the players arrive at approximately 11am and those enjoying the Blue carpet experience are cheering on their heroes as they enter the Etihad Stadium, you can also watch the Battle of the Bands, with local band Strawberry Lemonade playing live at 12pm.
Supporters on both sides are advised to make their way to their seats by 12:15 in preparation for the Etihad Campus’ exciting pre-match fireworks display, which will set the tone for a captivating encounter.
But the matchday experience continues at half-time, with those in the crowd able to take part in a half-time quiz and even be in with the chance of winning an exclusive holiday which will be revealed on the day.
Here’s your full schedule of pre-match and half-time festivities:
Morocco fans shut down the streets of Rusholme while celebrating remarkable win against Spain
Morocco fans living in Manchester were understandably ecstatic following their incredible win over Spain in the World Cup and their celebrations ended up spilling onto the streets of Rusholme.
The North African nation who currently sit as the world no. 22 in the FIFA ranking stunned almost everyone watching their round of 16 tie against Spain, who for many were considered among the favourites to win the tournament, as they beat them 3-0 on penalties.
After some serious heroics from the keeper commonly known as ‘Bono’, Spanish-born wingback Achraf Hakimi sealed the win with an audacious Panenka penalty to send Morocco into the quarters.
And this is how those on the streets of Rusholme reacted:
As you can see, large stretches of the Curry Mile were brought to a standstill as Morocco fans danced in the streets, sounding out chants and waving flags following their historic victory.
Besides beating the same team who smacked Costa Rica for seven just a couple of games prior, they also became the first Arab nation to ever make it to the final eight of the World Cup. Record-breakers.
Although the scenes were obviously joyous, the jubilation did lead to a series of impromptu roadblocks.