Borussia Dortmund coach, Jurgen Klopp, has insisted his side are the underdogs in their Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid.
The German club and the Spanish giants face each other for the second consecutive year in the knockout stages of the competition, with Dortmund ending Real’s title hopes in the semi-final last year.
The situation for Klopp’s side hasn’t changed much, as they were seen as underdog’s one year ago as well, but the BVB still progressed 4-3 on aggregate. Klopp is happy to accept the 'Cinderella" role, but knows his side are capable of beating the ‘world’s best’ on any given night.
“With our budget and the likes of Subotic, Bender, Gundogan, Schmelzer and Blaszczykowski on the injury list... There is no doubt that we are the underdogs, the Cinderella of this tie,” Klopp said.
“But I always say we don't have to be the best team in the world, we just have to be able to beat the best team in the world in a head-on clash and Dortmund can beat the best.
“That's the most important thing for me. Dortmund will take its chances and, who knows, we might even win!”
In addition to his side's injury list, Klopp believes Real are better than last year under Mourinho, and have a very balanced squad.
“They have bought some good players like Bale and Isco,” he continued.
“They have tremendous strength in every position, a full team of skilled players capable of success in all the competitions they play in.
“I think this Real squad is even better than the previous one. They have great attacking power and they defend well.”
Following Bayern Munich’s domination of the German Bundesliga and a gap of 23 points to the log leaders, many suggest that Dortmund have taken a step back this season, but Klopp won’t agree with such assessments.
“That's not the way I see it. It's been a very difficult season from the beginning,” the 46-year-old added.
“We have faced extraordinary challenges and an unprecedented injury crisis. I've never seen anything like it.
“But in spite of everything, we are on the road to achieving all the goals we set ourselves at the start of the season. So you can't talk about us playing worse or not being as strong as we were.
“We're second in the Bundesliga, we're in the Cup semi-final and we have made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, just like last year.
“And don't forget, we came top in the toughest Champions League group just like we did last season... we never give up.”
Both teams have faced each other six times in the Champions League and their record is completely level with two Real wins, two Dortmund victories and two draws.
Dortmund, however, will miss their main striker, Robert Lewandowski, who has scored all four goals in their famous 4-1 victory last year, due to suspension for the first leg.
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