NAPLES (Reuters) - Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp declared Manchester City as the best team in the world even though the Premier League champions have yet to win Europe’s premier club competition.
As his team prepared to begin their Champions League title defence by taking on Napoli in a Group E encounter on Tuesday, the German dismissed suggestions that his side should be viewed as favourites to lift the trophy again.
“We can’t be the best team in Europe because Man City are the best team in the world, that’s the same planet, I think,” joked Klopp at a news conference on Monday.
“We don’t feel the burden of being champions, (we won it) long ago. I have no clue (if teams will play differently against us). I’ve never won the Champions League before, I hope we are prepared for that.”
Liverpool finished second in the Premier League last season behind Pep Guardiola’s City but are five points clear of their title rivals after five games this season.
Midfielder Jordan Henderson also said Liverpool are not the front-runners to win the Champions League.
“It’s too early to say we’re favourites, we’ve started well but we can still get better,” said the England international.
“We’re always hungry for more and we want to improve. Last season is last season but we can still improve.”
Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Pritha Sarkar