It's not easy being Jurgen Klopp this week.
While Bayern Munich went about deconstructing Barcelona's tiki-taka empire Tuesday night in one UEFA Champions League semifinal, Klopp was trying to prepare his Borussia Dortmund for their own semifinal first leg Wednesday night against Real Madrid.
The problem is, Klopp must prepare his team while dealing with a distraction within it. If you hadn't heard, Bayern announced earlier this week that Mario Gotze, a 20-year-old attacking midfield prodigy who currently plays for Dortmund, is set to join Bayern in the summer.
Bayern met the €37 million release clause (via BBC Sport) in Gotze's contract, reportedly at the direction of incoming manager Pep Guardiola (formerly of Barcelona) and thus successfully poached Dortmund's brightest young star before he could fully blossom—and literally hours before BVB's big semifinal date with Real Madrid.
So how does Klopp feel about all this? Take a wild guess.
Normally known for his humor and wit in press conferences, Klopp showed a more intense side in Tuesday's pre-semifinal press conference.
"He is the player that Pep Guardiola absolutely wanted. That means that if anybody is to blame that he has decided to leave, it is me," Klopp said via a translator. "That said, I can't shrink 15 centimeters, learn Spanish, have them play world-switching football and preach tiki-taka—that is just not possible."
A clip from the press conference appears above. It's our Set Piece Video of the Day. Enjoy.
Klopp also said he heard about the deal the day after Dortmund beat Malaga with a dramatic late comeback in the Champions League quarterfinal second leg. Double ouch.
And in the Guardian's transcript of the press conference, Klopp is quoted as saying:
It could have been worse: it could have happened a couple of hours before the game. But on a scale of one to 10, this is a nine. We all know why it has come out now. We don't know why the people who have leaked this have done so at such a delicate time. We can only speculate but we are all making the same suppositions.
Triple ouch. Three strikes and all that.
So how does this affect Dortmund ahead of Wednesday night's first leg? Will it be a distraction or bring Klopp's team together (sans Gotze, of course)?
We're half-expecting to see an on-field mutiny that ends with Gotze crumpled up in his own goal. But that's just us.