Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac does not believe his side can compete with big-spending Premier League clubs as he aimed a subtle dig at Jurgen Klopp after their Champions League showdown.
Liverpool progressed to the quarter-finals of the tournament at the expense of the German giants thanks to a 3-1 win at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night. Tensions had been high between the two managers in the first leg when Kovac made Klopp wait to shake his hand at full-time, and there still appears to be some lingering animosity.
‘Money doesn’t always win, but Jurgen Klopp spent €500million [£425m] in the last four years,’ Kovac said on Friday. ‘Even we as the Bundesliga forerunners did not do that. It’s just an advantage [for them].
‘We must now continue with our planning and reflect about how we want to set ourselves up for the new season. We must not lie to ourselves. It’s not by accident that three German clubs are eliminated by three English clubs.
‘For the top stars, it’s just more appealing to go to the Premier League than to Bundesliga.’
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowsi was critical of Kovac’s gameplan after the last-16 exit, feeling they had played too negatively, but Kovac rejected that suggestion.
‘The approach was exactly the same as against Wolfsburg or Borussia Monchengladbach [where they won easily] so I cannot agree with the criticism. We played against a better opponent who deserved to win.
‘We did not get the support he [Lewandowski] needs. We played against the best defence in the Premier League. We can only be as good as the opponent allows and if you have few balls as a striker, disappointment is normal.’