Man City best team in the world: Klopp

Jurgen Klopp (left) and skipper Jordan Henderson said holders Liverpool are not ECL favourites.
Jurgen Klopp (left) and skipper Jordan Henderson said holders Liverpool are not ECL favourites.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp declared Manchester City as the best team in the world even though the English Premier League champions have yet to win Europe's premier club competition.

As his team prepared to begin their Champions League title defence by taking on Italian side Napoli in a Group E encounter on Tuesday, the German dismissed suggestions that his side should be viewed as favourites to lift the trophy again.

"We can't be the best team in Europe because Man City are the best team in the world, that's the same planet, I think," joked Klopp at a news conference on Monday.

"We don't feel the burden of being champions, (we won it) long ago. I have no clue (if teams will play differently against us). I've never won the Champions League before, I hope we are prepared for that."

Liverpool finished second in the EPL last season behind Pep Guardiola's City but are five points clear of their title rivals after five games this season.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson also said Liverpool are not the front-runners to win the Champions League.

"It's too early to say we're favourites, we've started well but we can still get better," said the England international.

"We're always hungry for more and we want to improve. Last season is last season but we can still improve."

Meanwhile, Klopp insists comments made by his agent that suggested he was contemplating his Liverpool future because of the British weather were merely "a joke".

The German is committed to the Anfield club until 2022 but Marc Kosicke hinted his client could decide against signing a new contract, in part due to the inclement climate in the north west.

But Klopp, moved to clarify the remarks, saying: "He wanted to make a joke.

"Now I have to be serious otherwise I could make a lot of jokes about the weather! It was obviously German humour and nobody got it.

"The weather was never a reason for me to choose a city. The weather in Liverpool is not always nice but, especially between March and September or October, it's nicer than you would imagine."

Australian Associated Press