Jurgen Klopp is more than happy for Liverpool fans to go wild for the return of Rafael Benitez when Newcastle United visit Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday.
Newcastle boss Benitez will be appearing at Anfield for only the second time as an opposition manager – the previous time was when he was interim boss at Chelsea in 2013.
The Spaniard remains hugely popular with Liverpool fans after masterminding their famous Champions League triumph in Istanbul during his six-year reign on Merseyside.
Klopp is also a big admirer of Benitez, and has cast the potential for jealousy aside by encouraging Reds supporters to ‘be louder than they have ever been’ for Rafa’s return.
“I really like Rafa, we have met a few times,” Klopp is quoted by Sky Sports as saying.
“From my point of view, if someone wants to celebrate Rafa Benitez in memory of Istanbul or whatever – he is one of the most successful managers at Liverpool – they are very welcome.
“I don’t care about that. Be louder than you have ever been, that is absolutely okay.
“That is how I would say hello to a good old friend, so no-one has to ignore this wonderful moment because I am here now. Do what you feel and if it is very good, show it.”
Newcastle visit Liverpool having gained some momentum in their fight against relegation, with four points from their last two games. They are now only two from safety.
And tomorrow may represent another opportunity for them to catch up, if Klopp chooses to rest players ahead of next week’s Europa League semi-final first leg with Villarreal.
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