Klopp: 'Smart' Neymar does not act

Sep 17 2018 - 17:54

Neymar reacts to challenges only to protect himself, according to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, whose side face Paris Saint-Germain next.

Jurgen Klopp has described Neymar's reactions to challenges as "completely normal" ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's visit to Anfield.

Neymar is set to line-up for PSG against Liverpool on Tuesday night when the two sides meet in the opening round of this season's Champions League group matches, and Klopp warned his players that the Brazilian would be fresh after being rested on Friday night.

Liverpool go into the game on the back of five wins from five in the Premier League but Klopp admitted they would face "an outstanding player" in Neymar, whose approach to rough treatment he commended.

"When I saw a few games at the World Cup and it looked like he made a bit more of the situation, it was for me a completely normal reaction," Klopp said of the 26-year-old.

"Players are really going for him and he wants to protect himself. I understand that. If a player gets a yellow card then they are much closer to a red card. It's smart that he saves himself.

"He's a fantastic footballer, an outstanding player. At the World Cup he was not fit but nobody asked him, 'Can you not play?' He had to save himself a bit, that's all.

"I don't think he's a person who wants to act, because if you are like that you can't play the kind of football he plays.

"He got rested at the weekend and will be 100 per cent fresh for us. We will see the full package and we will have to cope with that.

Klopp praised PSG's decision to appoint Thomas Tuchel as their head coach, describing his compatriot as "one of the best".

Tuchel succeeded Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and guided them to the DFB-Pokal in 2016-17, before taking a year away from football and then joining PSG.

"He is an outstanding coach and I thought it was a smart decision by PSG to sign Thomas Tuchel," said Klopp.

"With unbelievable individual quality you need a manager who can teach and educate them in playing together and they brought in one of the best I know. That makes them a threat.

"We have to run and work hard. I like these challenges because I have a really good team.

"If I wasn't a manager, I would watch this game."