Jurgen Klopp was always determined to make it as a top manager in the world of football – as he was never good enough to make a lucrative living as a player.
The 48-year-old, who became Liverpool’s 20th manager when he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in October, told the club’s official website he became an avid student of football because he felt it was his only chance of being involved in the game at a high level.
He tells of his time at his beloved Mainz where he spent 11 years as a player, much of it in the second tier of German football.
However, he was never destined to play at the top level of the Bundesliga and when he retired in his early 30s, he admitted: “I had no money. Not the best future but I loved the game too much.”
Klopp added: “I was not so good in the technical parts of the game (as a player) and I hated myself for this.
“I loved the game and I always tried to understand it a little bit better than the rest of the team because it was the only way to stay in the game.
“I always had this dream to become a football manager. If someone had come along and told me, at 25, to stop playing football and become a manager, it would not have been a problem for me.”
Klopp went on to manage Mainz for seven years before moving to Borussia Dortmund, who he led to back-to-back Bundesliga titles as well as a Champions League final.