Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool's seven Ballon d'Or nominations 'normal'
Last Updated: 22/10/19 10:01pm
Jurgen Klopp joked he was surprised more of his Champions League-winning squad were not nominated for the Ballon d'Or, after seven Liverpool players picked up nominations.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and strikers Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino featured among the 30-strong shortlist announced by France Football and L'Equipe on Monday.
"My first question was 'Who has not been nominated'?" he said ahead of Liverpool's Champions League match in Genk.
"When players win it, it is big. When they don't, hopefully it doesn't hurt too much. The way we played last season, it's normal so many would be nominated by the experts."
Klopp went on to praise his whole squad after they reached back-to-back Champions League finals, winning one, and running Manchester City a close second in the Premier League title race.
"I think our seven nominations are deserved. If it's a sign that we are now a destination for players, I don't know. We want to work together for the next couple of years and we'll see what happens," he added.
"I'm proud of my boys in general, not just because seven of them have been nominated. I like them a lot and I'm happy when they win things."
Klopp: Away form must improve
For a team that have reached successive finals, Liverpool's away record in the group stage is poor. They have lost the last four, scoring only once, and have not won any of the last five - their last victory on the road in Europe in the group stage coming at Maribor two years ago.
Both Klopp and midfielder James Milner accepted that the record had to change.
"Last year we were lucky with how tight the group was, losing three times away and still having the chance to go through. That won't happen again. We know that we need to improve," said Klopp.
Milner added: "We haven't been good enough away from home. We have to improve, we know that.
"Bayern stands out and you can see stats how you want. You can say the groups are this and that. We want to win and it won't be easy but we have to make it happen."
Milner wants future resolved
Milner, meanwhile, has just eight months left on his current Liverpool deal and the 34-year-old says he hopes his contract issue "gets resolved sooner rather than later".
Negotiations are continuing over Milner's future and Klopp recently expressed a desire to see the veteran stay but so far nothing has been concluded.
"Who knows, you know?" said the midfielder.
"There have been talks so hopefully it gets resolved sooner rather than later.
"But at this moment I will just keep playing football as well as I can."