UCL: Hoffenheim Boss Eager To Face Klopp's Liverpool
Hoffenheim wants to be on the map of top European teams by beating Liverpool as both teams will clash in the group stages.
Following Friday’s draw, Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann says his side is now the center of attention as they hope to beat Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp will take Liverpool to his native Germany for the first leg on August 15 with the return at Anfield on September 23.
Nagelsmann says his players will not be intimidated, but admits the play-off tie will help boost the Bundesliga club's profile abroad.
"This puts us in the centre of attention, this is great for the public perception of our club," said the Hoffenheim boss.
Nagelsmann, who only turned 30 last month, is one of the most highly-rated young trainers in the game and he expects a battle royal in the first leg at the Rhein Neckar Arena in Sinsheim, south-west Germany, before the Anfield return.
"They won't be knocking back a few whiskeys just because they are playing us, but it's not as though we have no chance," said Nagelsmann.
"Liverpool were by far the strongest team in the pot, but it is not as though I would have rather played against Napoli.
"If you want to win the cup, you have to beat every opponent at some point."
Nagelsmann knows Klopp, 50, personally as they both have the same agent.
"We write messages to each other from time to time," said Nagelsmann.
"I like him because he has remained normal. And I rate him as a coach."
Plenty is at stake for the play-off with a place in the Champions League group stage worth 12.7 million euros ($15m) to the victor while the losers drop into the Europa League.
"If you want to be there, you have to win against one of the best teams in Europe," said Nagelsmann.
"Jurgen Klopp plays the same football with Liverpool as with Dortmund -- attacking football with a brutal tempo."
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