The Champions League semi-final clash between Barcelona and Liverpool was always going to be a cagey affair. Both the teams have previously won 5 Champions League titles and will be going after their 6th one. A tie of such intensity will obviously attract a lot of attention towards both the teams and their respective managers.
It is always natural for players and managers to play mind games before such a big game. Such was the case for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp perhaps when he recently said in an interview, that his players should not be overawed by the magnitude of the Camp Nou, stating that the iconic stadium was not a football temple, and that it was just a ‘football stadium’.
Obviously this attracted a lot of criticism towards Klopp, with many calling for him to apologize for his remark. Even the official Barcelona Twitter account sent out a tweet, with an image of the Camp Nou, following the words ‘ Our home, Our temple, Our fortress’ written in the post.
Nevertheless what has been said against them, the club will always have thousands of fans who will be supporting them. And that is exactly what they did come the first leg of the Champions League semi-final clash against Liverpool on the 1st of May.
The Camp Nou was LIT.
I think Klopp’s comment about our stadium not being a temple were taken out of context, but it certainly helped motivate our fans. Never in my (few) years at the Camp Nou have we chanted this much.
— ᑳarçalεv (@Barsalev) May 2, 2019
Barcelona set a new record for having the highest attendance of the season with a mind numbing 98,299 fans coming to watch the match-
🏟 Camp Nou
🔥 Os 5 maiores públicos da temporada! 👥
1⃣. Barça x Liverpool: 98.299
2⃣. Barça x Manchester United: 96.708
3⃣. Barça x Real Madrid: 93.265
4⃣. Barça x Espanyol: 92.795
5⃣. Barça x Atlético Madrid: 92.453
— FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona_br) May 3, 2019
In such a spicy encounter between 2 European giants, the fans can play a key role in influencing the game. On the day, Barcelona fans were in full support of their team, as they ran out 3-0 victors, with Suarez opening the scoring in the first half, followed by a second half brace by their talisman Lionel Messi.
Klopp may as well rue his words, as Barcelona will be heading to Anfield, having already won the La Liga title and with one foot in the Champions League final. While Liverpool on the other hand, will have a tough task ahead, with an away trip to Newcastle United followed by their second leg clash against Barcelona.