PASCAL GROSS is hoping Liverpool pip Manchester City to the title — for personal and patriotic reasons.
As a professional footballer, he would give his all in Brighton’s final match of the season, regardless of the opponents and no matter what was at stake.
Getty – Contributor Pascal Gross praised Jurgen Klopp’s achievements with German club Mainz
But if midfielder Gross can help Jurgen Klopp — his fellow German and former coach of a close pal — to end Liverpool’s 29-year wait to be league champions, he will be delighted.
Gross, 27, said: “I’m aware of him since he’s been a manager.
“In Germany, the work he did with Mainz was incredible.
“The football they played, at quite a small club compared to what he trains now, was quite incredible.
“Then at Dortmund it was unbelievable what he did.
“Now he’s done the same in England as a German manager. He represents Germany at the highest level and in a good way.
“I have a friend who trained under him at Dortmund and he said this may be the best coach he ever saw.
“But on top of that, the human being he is, is just incredible.
“There’s not one team in the world that can play like Liverpool did on Tuesday against Barcelona if there is not a good relationship between the manager and the team.
“It’s not only tactics and the way they play that are incredible but also the human being. That sums up a really good manager.”
‘DESERVE ONE TITLE’
Gross also prefers the full-throttle style of Klopp’s team to the possession-hogging philosophy of Pep Guardiola’s City.
The German added: “The race with Liverpool is unbelievable. They both deserve it.
“But, personally, I think the way Liverpool play, the way they have played all year and even last season — the second time in a row in the Champions League final, the most points they’ve ever had in the Premier League — I think they deserve one title, whatever it will be.
“They are different. Liverpool have unbelievable intensity, a side you never can breathe against.
“They go hard for 90 minutes. They are so well organised but at the same time unbelievable how they play.
“City control the game. They are a team that tries not only to score but to have the ball.”
Brighton as a club have their own extra incentive for wanting to derail City’s bid for a domestic Treble.
The Seagulls reached their first FA Cup semi-final for 36 years only to be edged out 1-0 at Wembley by Guardiola’s side.But wanting revenge — and getting it — are very different things, especially against a team a strong as City.
‘YOU NEVER KNOW’
Gross, who missed the semi-final through injury, said: “It was a tough, tough day for us.
“Obviously, most of the times they will win because they are an unbelievable side.
“At Wembley we played really well. We were not far away from scoring.
“Last year, we played them in the first game in the Premier League and they won 2-0.
“They deserved to win but after 60 minutes it was 0-0, we had a corner and it was close to going in.
“If the ball goes in, maybe it finishes 1-1. It’s small margins. You never know what can happen.”
Brighton’s top-flight survival was confirmed last Saturday after Cardiff’s defeat to Crystal Palace.
And for all their struggles this season, the Seagulls have put in some good performances against the top six, including last weekend’s draw at the Emirates that ended Arsenal’s bid for a top-four finish.
With the extra motivation of today’s game marking farewell to club legend Bruno, this is Brighton’s opportunity to give a remarkable season and a remarkable week, one more twist in the tail.
Gross said: “Obviously it’s massive because of the title race. Everybody speaks about the game.
“We are in a good position because we don’t need anything any more. City where they have to play for everything.
“Offensively, we can show some composure because we can enjoy the game.
“It was a really incredible week of football. You really should never give up, there’s always a chance. I think for us, in this game, everything is possible.”
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