Jurgen Klopp says he wishes his father had been able to see his managerial success with Liverpool.
Klopp has transformed Liverpool back into the force they once were during his five years in charge. After winning the Champions League with them, he led them to their first Premier League title in 30 years last season.
Klopp has secured legendary status at Liverpool. It follows his success back in his native Germany with Borussia Dortmund, and before that, Mainz.
However, one man who has not been able to see his success is his father Norbert, who passed away before his coaching career began.
Klopp sheds light on his relationship with his parents in the new documentary about Liverpool’s title win last season, ‘The End of the Storm’.
“My mum was just a typical Black Forest mum, caring, loving, full of trust and faith,” he said. “Whatever happened out there, you would come home and she loved you anyway.
“Unfortunately when I describe my dad and I read it from time to time, it’s not fair how it sounds.
“This relationship was much more based on respect and clear messages.
“He was an unbelievable football player. Kaiserslautern were a big, big club in Germany and they offered him a contract at 18.
“But my grandad said ‘you don’t go for this football, you learn something serious’ and didn’t allow him to join them.”
Father supported Klopp’s dreams
While Klopp did not have the strongest relationship with his father, he accepts that Norbert wanted him to succeed – and was always supportive of him pursuing a career in sports.
“He wanted me to fulfil his dreams,” the Liverpool boss continued.
“I loved all things he wanted me to do. But then it’s one thing that you love doing it and another thing that your dad, your coach, is unhappy with the steps you take. He was a little bit more about giving criticism than praise for what you did. But that was his generation.
“When I told my dad I wanted to do sports science, he was completely on fire. He said ‘yes, do that!’. He had no idea what I could do with it, but I was the first kid of the family who studied, so he was ‘yeah, do that’.
“I know exactly what he wanted me to do, be really successful in sports.
“The real shame of this story is he wasn’t here anymore when I became a manager.
“My father, he died unfortunately nearly 20 years ago. Now when I look in a mirror, I am shocked because I look exactly like my father.
“I would today be able to have a brilliant relationship with him because I’m now old enough and strong enough to say what I want to say it in the right tonality.
“So now we could have completely cool conversations about all the things that happened, but unfortunately we cannot do that.
“But I’m a Christian, I believe in God living in heaven and that’s he’s just there, annoying other people, telling them they have to watch this game with him. I’m 100 per cent sure about that.
“If he had seen how my life turned out after I started as a manager, I think he would have been pretty happy.”