Liverpool’s prize for winning their group and reaching the knockout stage for the first time since 2008-09, will be a last-16 tie against either Basel, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk or the reigning champions Real Madrid.
Klopp said: “We knew if we won we would top the group so that’s not the biggest surprise but I think it’s strange this year in the group stages. There are a lot of really strong teams in second place. Obviously all the teams in the last 16 are strong but this year is quite special.
It’s not often you can face Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Juve if you win your group. Antonio Conte said it yesterday – there are no easy opponents and I don’t think anyone is happy when they get us in the draw. We will not be happy when we see who we face in the next round, but we will ready.”
After several underwhelming seasons in Europe’s elite competition, the Premier League will be strongly represented in the last 16 with Liverpool joining Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in the knockout phase. “I could not be less interested in the other teams to be honest but I think the reason [for five English teams in the draw] is quality,” Klopp said.
“All the teams in the Champions League have strong squads. We will see where this leads to but it’s a fact that English football is top quality. I don’t know why it didn’t happen in the last few years. I don’t think there are a lot of options for English teams in the next round but it is good news for English football. There has been a lot of good news for English football recently with their youth teams winning World Cups.”
He said the “little shadow” on the rout of the Russian champions was an injury to Alberto Moreno that could sideline the in-form left-back for several matches, beginning against Everton on Sunday.
Klopp said: “It could be something serious but he was a little more positive in the treatment room, so maybe we will be lucky. We need all the boys for the next few weeks and especially for Sunday. We showed tonight we learned from the mistake we made in Seville. Now we must show we learned from the mistake we made after Maribor when we faced Tottenham [and lost 4-1].”