(Reuters) - Liverpool’s stunning victory over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday was made possible by the belief manager Juergen Klopp’s has instilled in his squad, according to Jose Mourinho.
Liverpool produced one of the greatest comebacks in the competition’s history to beat Barcelona 4-0, overturning a three-goal first-leg deficit to advance to their second consecutive final with a 4-3 aggregate victory.
“For me, this has one name — Juergen,” Mourinho, who led Porto and Inter Milan to the Champions League title, told beIN Sports.
“This is about him. This is a reflection of his personality — don’t give up — his fighting spirit, every player giving everything.
“He’s not crying because he’s missing (injured) players, he’s not crying because they’re playing 50 or 60 matches a season... Today is about Juergen’s mentality.
“This is not about tactics, not about philosophy. This is about heart and soul and fantastic empathy he has created with that group of players.”
Liverpool risked finishing the season without a trophy with Manchester City leading the Premier League title race with one game to go and Barcelona heavy favourites to advance to the final after a commanding win at the Nou Camp.
But the thrilling victory over the Spanish champions gave the Merseyside club a chance of winning a sixth European Cup when they face either Tottenham Hotspur or Ajax Amsterdam in the final on June 1.
Klopp’s side were only the third team in the history of Europe’s top club competition to come from three goals down after the first leg of a semi-final and progress, matching Panathinaikos in 1970-71 and Barcelona in 1985-86.
“I didn’t expect (this result),” Mourinho, who also coached Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United, added. “I said if it’s possible, Anfield is one of the places to make it possible.
“They were at risk of finishing a fantastic season with nothing to celebrate and now they are one step away from being European champions.”
Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru