Jurgen Klopp first got the call, asking him to become Liverpool manager while he was on holiday in Lisbon, Portugal with his family – a call Reds fans will be relieved to have
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The Liverpool manager revealed it was in Portugal’s capital – home of Champions League Quarter-final opponents Benfica – that he was the first to get the call asking him to become boss of the famous English club. Klopp was on an extended hiatus following his departure from Borussia Dortmund, with no intention of returning to football anytime soon… until that fateful day in autumn 2015 when, for once, he picked up a phone he had ignored for months.
“That call changed my life,” he admitted with a smile. “It wasn’t (FSG group president) Mike Gordon on the phone, I spoke to him later, it was my agent on the phone, he told me about the (Liverpool) interest. We were totally in the holiday mood, so I didn’t follow any rumours. But with two sons around, they absorb pretty much anything and I knew a little bit from them that a few things can happen.
“The phone is ringing and I wasn’t taking many calls at the time because my family was nearby, so why would I talk to anyone? But it was my agent who is also my friend. And when he said, ‘Yes, Liverpool are calling’, the lads looked at me and at that moment the decision was made for them. (My wife) Ulla Ulla then had to give the thumbs up and it was clear that we would do it because it just felt right from the first second.”
It was a historic moment for coach and club as his arrival awakened a sleeping giant and led to their first title win in 30 years, along with a memorable Champions League triumph. But for Klopp it’s not the trophies that define his time at Anfield, but the fact that Liverpool are once again among the European elite and feared by all, with a structure most clubs envy.
“I would like to say that we were champions in 2019 too and I would like to say that we won the Champions League final in 2018. That would all have been great, but I don’t judge my time here by the trophies too much,” he said. “I know everyone else is doing it, but it’s about the way we play, how we develop and what the club is like. and the position the club is in is much more important. At the moment it’s a healthy club in a good situation and these circumstances give you the opportunity to focus on football and we’re trying to do that, but it’s really difficult.”
Klopp has brought stability to a club that has been plagued by uncertainty and – at times – civil war for the past two decades. And he says he doesn’t need Lisbon to celebrate his time at Anfield, but confirmation that they are on the right track: ‘I know the stories about us are very positive at the moment, and that too Right, the boys deserve it, but we all know that one failure, one small misstep, and at least one contest can be over.
“So we need to make sure. No problem for us. We don’t feel that brave, we just feel ready for the next challenge and that’s all I need. There’s no big celebration of the development of the club, just really serious work and I’m very happy about that.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/liverpool-news-jurgen-klopp-decision-26633957 Jurgen Klopp explains why he doesn't judge Liverpool by trophies after a 'serious' trip