Jürgen Klopp couldn’t contain himself. You might want to say that it was a day that ends in Y, and you’d be right, except this was a specific day that ended in Y. It was the day Liverpool overturned a 1-0 aggregate deficit at home against Villareal to book themselves a place in the Europa League final. The Europa League, so long the sneered-at younger sibling of the Champions League, and Klopp’s boys found themselves this close to conquering it like the Visigoths of old.
In his joy and his fever – surely there’s a German compound word that combines those two? – Klopp spoke to Liverpool fans during the post-match presser. He told them their team needed them in Basel and they should turn out. Come! Come to Basel! Even if you don’t have a ticket, come!
Soon after, UEFA got in touch with the club to say, essentially, “please don’t.”
At which point both the club and Klopp had to walk the statement back and say please, please, don’t go to Basel without a ticket. If you don’t have a ticket, go down to the pub or watch at home with your family.
It’s all very reasonable and done out of an abundance of caution. Yet it speaks to something I love about the Europa League – that it contains too much, that it’s close to bursting at the seams. It’s a pot that runneth over, even if too many football fans are in the other room watching (highlights showing) Real Madrid sauntering to another piece of silverware.