Jurgen Klopp has been named Liverpool manager on a three-year deal, but there were several reasons why this was an appointment destined to happen.
Klopp has spoken of his pride at being unveiled as Liverpool’s new manager and there’s no doubting that watching the Reds just became a whole lot more interesting on the back of the charismatic German’s appointment.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach has succeeded Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield hotseat and becomes the club’s 21st permanent manager – and there have been several pointers over recent years why Klopp to Liverpool was simply meant to be.
- He beat Liverpool as Mainz manager way back in 2006.
There’s fewer better ways to announce yourself as a future Liverpool manager by beating your future employees – and to beat them in style.
But that’s exactly what Klopp did in the summer of 2006 when the then-manager of Mainz got the better of Rafael Benitez with a 5-0 pre-season win in August 2006.
Reflecting on the match afterwards, Klopp sportingly opted against crowing about the win.
“Liverpool were only as strong as we allowed them to be,” he said. “We were the wrong opponent for them.
“And it’s no fun for my players to play against teams with this kind of defence. Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher are huge.”
2. Nuri Sahin compared Klopp to Rodgers in 2012
His signing didn’t quite work out the way Liverpool would have expected, but when Nuri Sahin arrived at Anfield on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in August 2012, it’s safe to say there were high hopes the Reds were getting a quality addition.
And in the Turkey midfielder’s first press conference, Sahin rather amusingly compared then newly-appointed Liverpool boss Rodgers to his former mentor at Borussia Dortmund.
He said: “Dortmund gave Klopp the time to establish itself among the elite and it worked out very well.
“As a character, he is a person who relates to the player. I can see Brendan doing the same.
“Brendan’s character was very influential in me coming here.”
3. He once affectionately touched the famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign
No words necessary – let’s let the pictures do the talking!
— Liverpool Data (@LiverpoolData) August 10, 2014
4. He called Liverpool a ‘great club’ in 2014
Klopp’s Dortmund were beaten 4-0 by Liverpool that day – the match coming just a couple of months after the Reds had agonisingly let their Premier League title chance slip.
Liverpool had been at their best under Rodgers in the 2013/14 season, but trouble was afoot with Luis Suarez on the verge of a move to Barcelona. Klopp, however, showed the sportsman that he was by again only saying nice things about Liverpool.
“It’s a great club and they did well last year [2013-14],” he said.
“I saw it. I saw what they can do against us…it was the wrong time to play them.”
On Suarez, Klopp added: “They have a plan maybe, but I don’t know.
5. His agent hawked Klopp to Liverpool in June 2015
With pressure starting to mount on Rodgers following a season that had seen them drop from second the previous year to sixth, Klopp’s name was starting to be banded about as a potential Liverpool boss.
When questioned whether Klopp would ever consider moving to the Premier League, his agent did little to dampen the flames, doing everything but name Liverpool by name.
“The Premier League is very exciting,” agent Marc Kosicke told German news outlet SPOX. “And we do not only think about the top four because there are some other great clubs below them. But I am not sure the profile of the job could work.
“In Germany there is a clear separation between manager and sporting director and I think in principle this is very good. Jurgen does not like to speak to players’ agents or to carry out a transfer. So we have to see which is the most useful arrangement.
“It is always all about the challenge.
“When Jurgen signed for Dortmund there were other clubs who had better prestige and were in better financial mood at this time. Nevertheless he decided for Dortmund.
“He has the great ability to develop things. If he goes into a stadium, feels the energy and thinks that he can make a difference here, this could be more attractive to him than going with the big deals and aim for the treble.”
6. Klopp dropped a Liverpool hint last month
Klopp was confident he’d soon be back in work just a month ago and again hinted it wouldn’t necessarily need to be a top-four club that tempts him.
Speaking to Bild, he said: “I’m really very relaxed – but only because I know that it goes some time. I’ll be back to train a team.
“I inform, read, meet a lot of people – there are ordinary little things that make great fun. I miss currently nothing.
“It doesn’t have to be an absolute top club. There are other good projects that are exciting, [teams] who need help.
“I don’t know where I’ll be heading to, but right now, that’s not important for me.
“I know that if I will have the right feeling it will be a wonderful next chapter.
“You will see what happens and I find it exciting right now not knowing what will happen next.”
7. Because Didi Hamann said so….
Every Reds supporter loves Didi Hamann, the German who played for the Reds for seven years between 1999 and 2006.
Although a signing from Newcastle, Hamann is regarded as something of an adopted Scouser and still talks fondly about his time at the club.
Speaking just a few weeks ago about the mounting pressure Rodgers found himself under and the links to Klopp, Hamann said: “The pressure in Liverpool gets bigger. The fans are on the barricades. But the coach is backed by the club, and anyway the question is: Would Klopp move there during the season?”
“Had they asked before the season, I am 99 percent sure that he would have joined them. Many people say that he will take over Bayern on July 1, 2016, but I don’t know whether he’s a fit there. He’d be a great fit at Liverpool.”
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