Jurgen Klopp opted against naming a Liverpool player as the greatest he’s coached despite the club’s remarkable achievements in recent years.
The German has become a cult hero on Merseyside despite their struggles in the current campaign.
Klopp ended the club’s 30-year heartache for a domestic title one year after guiding the Reds to their sixth European crown.
Superstar names currently litter Klopp’s side, with no fewer than four Liverpool players receiving recognition inside the top seven for the 2019 Ballon d’Or.
However, despite having world class Liverpool options such as Virgil van Dijk or Mohamed Salah to choose from, Klopp selected a player from his time at Borussia Dortmund as the greatest he has coached.
Speaking to German publication Bild, Klopp opted for Polish goal machine Robert Lewandowski for his personal accolade.
The 32-year-old spearheaded Dortmund’s attack as they secured successive titles under Klopp at the start of the last decade.
A move to bitter rivals Bayern Munich materialised, where Lewandowski has developed into one of the game’s most feared strikers.
“Robert Lewandowski,” Klopp replied when quizzed on the subject by German newspaper Bild (via the Mirror).
“It actually won’t be fair to say that about any other player except Lewy. What he has made out of his potential, how he pushed himself to become the player he is today, that’s extraordinary.
“If every player has a development similar to Lewandowski, when I first saw him at Lech Poznan, then the football world would be completely crazy.
“All players would win all their duels, The full-backs would complete all their crosses. The midfielders would be strong in one against ones. The wingers would tackle and play precise long balls.
“Lewandowski made every step he had to make to become the goal machine he is today.
“He knows exactly what to do in every situation. He’s an absolute machine.
“I would like to thank him and all the other players who made it look as if I’m a very good coach.”
Klopp assesses Liverpool top four chances
Meanwhile, Klopp has all but ruled out Liverpool qualifying for next season’s Champions League by finishing in the top four, but does not fear for his job.
The Reds currently sit sixth in the Premier League table after a dreadful run of results – especially at home. The Merseysiders have lost six top-flight games at Anfield this term, with all the defeats coming this calendar year.
The champions have only five points to make up on fourth-placed Chelsea. But the German tactician feels the quality of the other teams around them means a top-four berth is unlikely.
“I like to be an optimist, but in the league it is almost impossible to qualify in the competition for the Champions League places that we have,” he told German newspaper Bild.
“At Tottenham, Gareth Bale is now playing again, and they are also in the running. Plus (Manchester) City and United, who are far away.
“Chelsea is on the rise. Reaching Champions League qualification through the league will be difficult, we know that.”