Barcelona have fired an apparent riposte to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp after he said the Catalans’ Camp Nou home “is no temple of football” ahead of the teams’ UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday.
German Klopp told DAZN: “The Camp Nou is just a stadium. It is pretty big, but it is no temple of football.”
That seemed to irk the Catalan giants, who responded by taking to Twitter to share a video of their icon 99,000-seater home, as well as clips of star man Lionel Messi’s demolition of Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-final second leg.
“This is Camp Nou. Our home. Our temple. Our fortress,” Barca wrote.
The pair meet in Spain for their first leg on Wednesday night, as Liverpool seek to reach successive finals in the competition and claim Europe’s top club prize for a sixth time in total.
Barcelona are also aiming for a sixth title in total, and first since 2015. On the domestic front, the Catalans wrapped up the La Liga title at the weekend with a win over Levante thanks to a second-half Messi strike.
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Klopp did admit that the Spanish club’s vast home – which is set for a major overhaul beginning from next year – can provide the away team with “a bad time.”
“You see the other teams who have a bad time when they play there and now we will experience it. Although of course we hope to play well,” Klopp said, adding: “If you play against Barcelona, you are certainly not favourites.”
Barca have won four out of five home games in the Champions League this season, drawing the other versus Tottenham in the group stage.
They hammered Lyon there 5-1 in the last 16, and beat Manchester United 3-0 there in the quarter-final second leg.
The semi-final return leg is on May 7 at Liverpool’s own iconic home, Anfield, where big European nights have become the stuff of legend.
Klopp and Co. will be hoping they are still very much in the tie, come that game.