Three more days until the kick-off for the quarter final 1st leg in the UEFA Europa League between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC. The Signal Iduna Park has already been totally sold out for weeks, the media coverage is at the level of a UEFA Champions League semi-final.
Hans-Joachim Watzke is looking forward to "two special games, because both teams are great, because they both represent pure footballing history" and he thinks that the winning team of this spectacular draw will be odds on favourites to win the title: "whoever will win over the two legs has a huge chance to make it to Basel."
Borussia Dortmund faces yet another team from the Premier League after they faced Tottenham Hotspur in the last round. Even if Liverpool FC is seven places below Tottenham in the league, the BVB boss rates the team from Anfield as being more dangerous: "Liverpool will give everything in these two games, because it is the only realistic chance for them to still make it to the Champions League. Liverpool will not do us the favour of resting any of their players."
Real competition - instead hugs all round
Borussia Dortmund v Liverpool FC - this is not just a new edition of the final for the European Cup Winners Cup 1966, it also means the return of Juergen Klopp, who achieved fantastic results here with his coaching staff between 2008 and 2015. Watzke had this warning message: "We have to have a certain sharpness to our game, this is a real challenge and not hugs all round. You don't win games like that."
The Chief Executive already stated on the ZDF on Saturday: "the friendship is on hold for now, until after the 2nd leg . He has a job to do, we have a job to do and that is to knock out the opposition. You don't need to fuddy-duddy around in a friendly manner and you have to take the bull by the horns. We are very much opponents. We will play the game without any hind-thought. Only afterwards will we go back into the friendship mode." Boris Rupert