The Reds will meet FC Midtjylland in Anfield on Tuesday evening on the second matchday of this year’s Champions League, with all matches still being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jurgen Klopp spoke of the additional responsibility he and his players feel before Liverpool’s first European home game ever without fans.
Jurgen Klopp said that Liverpool feels an additional responsibility due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We all know the expression ‘famous European nights’ because it refers to our special home,” Klopp said.
Liverpool began the Group D campaign last week with an away win at Ajax, and Klopp wrote in his programme notes on the Midtlylland draw that as the city suffers from the continuing wreckage of Covid-19, everything will be done to support the fans in these difficult times.
European Nights Under Floodlights have played a key role in the club’s history – and in Klopp’s reign – and the boss says his team will miss the electric atmosphere usually created at continental competitions.
“As a team we carry that responsibility into this game. We can be here and we can play! We should not ignore this privilege while our city, this country, Europe and the world are dealing with this terrible situation.
“I have been so blessed, as have my players, that we as a team have written our own stories in this regard. I think I’m right in saying that this will be the first time that Anfield is empty for this kind of game.
“Of course, I cannot and will not claim in this column that we can create the same feeling by keeping the stands at Anfield closed. But what I can say is that we will try to channel the energy that comes from within, in terms of what it means to represent the LFC in this particular competition and at home.
“As management and players, we know that our city is feeling pain at this moment. People who are better than me at explaining the technical details behind the government’s “tiered system” – but even without this in-depth knowledge, we know that the lonely and weak are being isolated, their lives put on hold, their livelihoods compromised, their wages cut and their businesses destroyed. We know that the people in our city suffer through no fault of their own.
“Before we played in Everton, I was asked if football could help to lift people up. I really don’t have a good answer to that.
“But what I think football can help is that we all have a greater responsibility when we play.
“I think that if I lose my job, if I struggle to pay bills, to feed my family, or even if I’m told that I can’t see a vulnerable relative or spend time with people I love, then I’m not sure that any football game can help me feel better. Maybe – but we have to respect that people have real problems at the moment.
“Many of our fans may have been denied the chance to do their jobs. Others, like the heroes of the hospital and care sector, face additional dangers while they fulfill their duty to protect us all.
“Make it the best European night ever, with an empty stadium. Make it a game where our fans take energy and joy from us.
“So it’s strange that Anfield is empty on a European night, and that’s not what we want. But as a team we have no excuse. We are privileged to have the opportunity to play and we have to show our appreciation through our dedication and commitment to the game.
You can get your copy of the Liverpool vs Midtjylland FC broadcast by ReachSport here
“This is a motivation that we will use. Times are different, the UEFA Champions League nights in Anfield are different, but our responsibility to our fans remains the same”.