Liverpool owner John W. Henry says winning the Champions League won’t make up for not ending a 29-year championship drought.
The Reds came agonisingly close to winning the 2018/19 Premier League but, in the end, lost out to eventual champions Manchester City by a single point.
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- Liverpool ended the 2018/19 Premier League season with 97 points.
- That is the most of any non-champion and the third-highest tally in the competition’s history.
- Jurgen Klopp’s men only tasted defeat once: 2-1 at Manchester City.
- No team boasted a better defence than Liverpool: 22 goals conceded.
- And only Manchester City (95 goals) scored more than Liverpool (89).
There’s still a chance of Liverpool ending the season on a high note by winning a sixth European Cup at the expense of Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur, who are playing in their first final.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were last year’s beaten finalist, losing 3-1 to Real Madrid in Kiev, and go into the Madrid showpiece on June 1 as favourites. Both teams produced stunning comebacks to reach this stage; Liverpool overturning a 3-0 semi-final deficit against Barcelona whilst Spurs came from 3-0 down against Ajax.
The euphoria of reaching a ninth European Cup final was subsided a few days later when it became clear that City were to successfully defend their crown. And though he’s proud of what Klopp has done in Europe, owner Henry believes lifting European club football’s premier trophy will not make up for losing out to Pep Guardiola’s side.
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“It’s an amazing feeling given what happened last year in the final,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We felt we had unfinished business so to get back here is really gratifying. “They (The Premier League and Champions League) are different. It doesn’t make up for it. Not winning the Premier League this year means it’s an even larger goal for next year.”
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Henry knows if Liverpool are to topple City as well as staving off the rest of the league’s top six clubs then it’s imperative Klopp has a squad rich in quality and depth.
Since FSG bought the club in 2010, they’ve heavily invested and recently made Virgil van Dijk the world’s most expensive defender, after purchasing him from Southampton for a reported £75m, whilst Alisson was briefly the most expensive goalkeeper when Liverpool parted with £66m to bring him from AS Roma.
The positive news for Liverpool supporters is Henry and company will not be standing still.
“Sort of like going back to the Champions League final this year was something our guys set their minds on. We’ll be set on winning next year. We’re going to have a go, and we’re strong already,” he added.
“Every year—we haven’t gone through that process yet, because we’re still playing—but every year we’ve shown we’re willing to invest in the right kind of player and do it the right way so the club is sustainable. We were up against almost an unstoppable force. I think these two teams (Manchester City and Liverpool) were the best two teams in the world this year. I’m just glad we were still standing on the last day of the season.”