Flamengo v Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp wants to change perception of Club World Cup

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Highlights: Monterrey 1-2 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp wants to change the perception of the Club World Cup as Liverpool prepare to face Flamengo in the final in Doha on Saturday.

The Reds faced criticism for fielding their youngest-ever side in the Carabao Cup loss to Aston Villa, choosing instead to focus on events in Qatar.

“The view in Europe is different to the rest of the world [about its value] but we want to change that view,” he said.

“Liverpool fans want us to win – most of the other fans don’t really care.”

The Liverpool manager added: “Will it change the view in Europe? Probably not.”

The game on Saturday will be live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app, with the programme starting at 17.15 GMT.

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Roberto Firmino scored a dramatic injury-time winner to give Liverpool a semi-final victory over Mexican side Monterrey on Wednesday, 24 hours after the Reds’ League Cup quarter-final defeat at Villa Park.

It will be the Reds first appearance in the final since Rafa Benitez’s men slipped to a 1-0 loss against Brazilian side Sao Paulo in 2005.

While the Club World Cup final is seen as a showpiece event in Flamengo’s native Brazil, the Anfield boss acknowledged Liverpool have a tough test to convince critics the trophy is worthy of the sacrifices the club has made.

“The situation is different for us as it is for Flamengo,” said Klopp.

“They came here with a clear order to win it and come back home as heroes. We got told to stay at home and play in the Carabao Cup.

“That is a massive difference. We cannot change that but we are here and my team wants to win the competition, even though we know it is very difficult because the other team is really good.”

Intense, organised and ‘cheeky’ on the wings

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Highlights: Flamengo through to Club World Cup final

The final on Saturday will be the first time Klopp has faced a Brazilian side during his time as Liverpool manager.

Flamengo secured a dramatic Copa Libertadores victory over rivals River Plate in November and came from behind to beat Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal 3-1 in their Club World Cup semi-final.

“I know what we have to expect,” Klopp added.

“Flamengo will be intense, organised, [coach] Jorge Jesus has changed their fortunes and most of their things.

“They have different ways of playing and they have real quality in the centre of the park, they are cheeky on the wings and they can shoot from distance – just like a successful team should be.

“This is the first time that I have faced a Brazilian team but this is also the first time Flamengo have played a team like Liverpool.”

The last last time the two clubs faced each other was in the 1981 Intercontinental Cup final, the precursor to the Club World Cup.

Bob Paisley’s Liverpool were beaten 3-0 in Tokyo by a Zico-inspired side.

‘Dream come true to play in final’


Alisson celebrates Liverpool’s semi-final victory with Brazilian team-mate Roberto Firmino

Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker says it is a “dream come true” to play in the final.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Novo Hamburgo in southern Brazil, said: “I was a young boy at 14 when I watched my club Internacional win the Club World Cup in 2006 as a fan.

“I’m excited to be playing the Club World Cup, it is a dream come true. It’s big for Brazilians but bigger for who is playing.

“We are here and this is big for us, it’s important to put our name in the history of the club.”

Alisson put in a man of the match performance against Monterrey in the semi-final, making several smart saves as the Mexican side had 16 shots in total, including eight on target.

Flamengo have enjoyed success thanks to their in-form strikers Gabriel Barbosa – on loan from Inter Milan and nicknamed ‘Gabigol’ – and Bruno Henrique.

The pair were the Brazilian league’s golden and silver boot winners, with 25 goals for Barbosa and 21 for Henrique.

“I still watch Brazilian football and Flamengo are a joy to watch.” Alisson added.