Tuesday September 17 2013
Klopp: 'Napoli a mystical experience'

Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp reveals Napoli “called” him this summer and playing at the San Paolo “will be a mystical experience.”

The two sides go head-to-head in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, kicking off at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

There were reports in pre-season that Klopp was a target to replace Walter Mazzarri and he confirmed it in today’s Press conference.

“President Aurelio De Laurentiis called me over the summer, yes. He did it before contacting Rafa Benitez, not after!” laughed Klopp.

“If he had called me after Benitez, then that would’ve been daft.”

Borussia were runners-up in the Champions League and Bundesliga last season, but the German Coach is very impressed by Napoli and their history.

“We are facing a side that plays sparkling football, so we must be careful and remain compact. Aside from Gundogan and Kehl, Piszczek is also not in good shape. It’s a shame, because I don’t have many alternatives and will have to evaluate the situation in the last training session.

“Playing at the San Paolo will be a mystical experience for me, because it was the stadium that was home to Diego Armando Maradona.

“We will try to make ourselves be influenced positively by this ‘presence.’ We are a little like Napoli, in that we lost important players over the summer, but have renewed ourselves.”

This is a very tough group with Arsenal and Olympique Marseille, so qualification is wide open.

“Each of the teams in the group could go forward in the competition. These are all experienced and solid sides, but I personally hope we qualify along with Napoli.”