Liverpool fans are eagerly anticipating the arrival of German boss Jurgen Klopp as a replacement for the departed Brendan Rodgers, and there’s palpable excitement brewing over one of the most charismatic managers set to grace English shores.
A quick look back at Klopp’s career yields the type of characteristics the Liverpool board have no doubt warmed to.
Loyalty, dedication, passion and an ethos based around constant improvement are just some of the traits shown by the 48-year-old.
Klopp the Mainz Player
Liverpool love a one-club man, and arguably some of their problems have been due to a failure to replicate the passion and will to win shown by local heroes Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher in recent years.
Klopp spent his entire playing career for Mainz 05 in the second tier of Germany’s Bundesliga.
Starting out as a 6ft4 unit up front, Klopp switched to a defensive role as his career ran on. All told he netted over 50 goals for the Carnival club in well over 300 appearances.
Always one for a quip, Klopp summed up his playing career like so: “I had the talent for the fifth division and the mind for the Bundesliga. The result was a career in the second division.”
Here are five of his best…
Klopp the Mainz Manager
If he wasn’t a Mainz legend already, Klopp immortalised himself at the club after hanging up his boots in 2001 when he began a seven-year stint as manager.
In just three seasons he took the club into the Bundesliga for the first time in 2004, and into the UEFA Cup.
Though relegated in 2006, Klopp prepared the club for the top tier. He left in 2008, bringing a 19-year spell with the club to an end, but Mainz soon became a top-flight club again and they’re still there now.
Klopp the Dortmund Manager
Klopp became coach of the German giants in 2008 and in his first season took the club to a higher league position than they’d done in the previous four years.
After a further season of ground work, Klopp led Dortmund to a first league title in nine years in 2011, claiming the Bundesliga by seven points from Bayer Leverkusen.
The following year was even better as Der BvB swept all aside to win a league and cup double for the first time in the club’s history.
Two runners-up spots and a Champions League final appearance showed this was no fluke and Klopp departed the Signal Iduna Park in the summer as arguably their greatest – and coolest – manager.
He took on the task at Mainz and led them to new heights. He took on the task at Dortmund and did the same, but what will Klopp do at Liverpool?
For one thing, games against Arsenal should be interesting, as he once said of Arsene Wenger: “He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It’s like an orchestra. But it’s a silent song. I like heavy metal.”
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