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What Jurgen Klopp's comments about Everton tell us about attitude towards rivals

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Jurgen Klopp has always been a man who appreciates the traditions and history of each club he is involved with.

He said so in his very first press conference as Liverpool boss in 2015, when he told a packed press conference at Melwood: "I'm not a dreamer but I'm a romantic. I love the stories and the history and Anfield is one of the best places in the football world."

Over the five years he has spent on Merseyside the charismatic German has clearly become an honorary Scouser himself, and he has been just as exposed to the ups and downs of the team across Stanley Park as he has been to that of his own side.

One of Jurgen Klopp's most passionate celebrations came after Divock Origi's last minute goal against Everton in 2018 (Image: Getty Images) Read More Related Articles

It was significant that Klopp dedicated three paragraphs of his open letter to fans in the Liverpool Echo to Everton, and shows just how importantly he views rivalry in football.

After explaining how much he has been taken aback by the passion for football that runs through the city, Klopp wrote: "This does not only apply to Liverpool fans either. I am obviously biased because Liverpool is my club but I am not so biased that I cannot see that Everton fans are the other side of the same coin and that the rivalry that exists is so important to the city’s identity.

"I know that this is not their favourite time and if roles were reversed it would not be our favourite time either but in Carlo Ancelotti, Everton have a great manager and a great person and I have no doubt in my mind that their improvement since he arrived will only continue. Everton is a great rival in every sense. I do not need anyone to remind me of this.

Klopp wrote a powerful piece to supporters in the Liverpool Echo (Image: PA) Mirror Football's Top Stories

"For us to finish above Everton and the 18 other Premier League clubs is an unbelievable achievement. I respect all of them because between us we combine to make English football so competitive and so compelling that people all around the world are captivated by it."

Klopp is clearly aware that he and his side are better for having enemies such as Everton and Manchester United, and his impressive record in derby matches is perhaps a testament to that.

It will be intriguing to see how they play out next season.

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