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‘I would hate myself’ – Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp rejects Man City ‘xenophobe’ reports


Klopp insists he is not hurt by off-the-record briefings from the Man City camp about him.


Jurgen Klopp insists he does not feel hurt by accusations of xenophobia following his comments around Manchester City’s spending power last week.


Liverpool beat City 1-0 at Anfield on Sunday in a tempestuous game that was marred by a handful of incidents involving both sets of supporters off the pitch. Anfield officials were forced to release two statements around the “vile chants” from City fans relating to the Hillsborough and Heysel tragedies and alleged coin throwing at Pep Guardiola from the home end.


On Monday, City also alleged their team bus was attacked on its way back to Manchester but have yet to release a statement on any of the flare-ups throughout the day. Merseyside Police said that no reports have been filed yet with regards to the alleged vandalism of the bus.


Despite the ongoing animosity from both sets of supporters, it was Klopp’s pre-match press conference on Friday that has seemingly angered those at the Etihad the most.


Speaking before the game, Klopp suggested that “nobody can compete” with Pep Guardiola’s side when it comes to investing in their squad during the transfer window and the comments were viewed dimly by senior figures at City.


On Monday, it was reported in a national newspaper that some at the Etihad believed Klopp’s comments were ‘borderline xenophobic’ due to his general observations around state-owned clubs like City, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United, whose owners are from Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, respectively.


Some have suggested such off-the-record briefings are a blatant attempt to deflect away from the legitimate discussion around the state-ownership of football clubs, however, and Klopp insists he is comfortable enough in his own skin to know such City claims are baseless.


In this specific case, I don’t feel hit at all,” Klopp said. “I know myself and you cannot hit me with something that is miles away from my personality.


“If I would be like this – I actually can’t remember the word (xenophobic) – I would hate myself for being like this. A lot of times I say things that are open for misunderstanding, I know it, but it’s not intentional.


Sometimes you say things and then later you realise ‘oh my God! that could be understood [differently]’ but this is not one of those times. It was not.


Obviously not all of you journalists see it the same way. Some chief writers see it differently. It’s an open world, obviously and we can have different views. That is how it is, so nothing else to say.”


Liverpool will aim to make it back-to-back Premier League victories when they take on West Ham United on Wednesday night but will do so without Diogo Jota after he was ruled out for a number of months with a serious calf injury picked up in the closing stages against City at the weekend.


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