Managing Liverpool against a fellow heavyweight of European football in AFC Ajax is a prospect that excites Jürgen Klopp.
The Reds begin their 2020-21 Champions League campaign in Amsterdam on Wednesday, with the Johan Cruyff Arena to host a tie between two clubs that boast a combined total of 10 European Cup triumphs.
Klopp has fond memories of meeting the Dutch giants during his time with Borussia Dortmund and is looking forward to doing so again eight years later.
“[Our] proper analysis didn’t start yet, not with me. After this I have the analysis meeting so then I will know much more about it, but in general yes [it feels like a big European game],” the boss told Liverpoolfc.com.
“If you think, and if you thought in the past, about European football Liverpool was 100 per cent involved and Ajax as well, so that’s how it is. One of the highlights of my time at Dortmund was for sure the two games against Ajax, just for a personal reason. You think: ‘OK, you want to play in this stadium against a young, very exciting team.’
“Ajax changed their philosophy slightly [and] brought in some experienced players. [Daley] Blind is there, [Dusan] Tadic is there, [Quincy] Promes, [Davy] Klaassen they got back from Bremen - so a few players that played earlier in their career at Ajax, then mix it up with a lot of really young and exciting talents. That’s how it is.
“Two years, or one-and-a-half years, ago they played an exceptional Champions League campaign, absolutely exceptional. The way they played, wow. All good but we didn’t play them that year, it would have been only possible in the final and that didn’t happen because of Tottenham. So, now we meet and I’m excited.”