Jurgen Klopp has revealed what he thought of Liverpool before joining them and what convinced him to sign for Liverpool, plus much more.
The Reds boss has been in charge for over three years, having inherited a significantly weaker squad from previous manager Brendan Rodgers.
Despite not winning a major trophy in his time so far, he has led the Reds to a Europa League, League Cup and Champions League final.
Klopp’s effect at Liverpool has never been more clear than this season. The Reds top the Premier League table, despite suffering their first defeat of the season to second-placed Man City.
Whilst his remarkable progress at the club may not have yet resulted in tangible success, the signs are all positive for Liverpool heading in to the future.
And Klopp, speaking to NBC’s Arlo White, reveals his thinking behind his decision to make the move to Anfield back in 2015 as he reflects on his time on Merseyside so far.
When asked what his best decision as a football manager was, he declared: “Signing for Liverpool.
“I had the Liverpool I knew, as a football supporter, who were not the shiny – what can I describe – it was not the club anymore where you thought you have to be, one time in your life, there.
“When you watched games, it looked good, not that good. You lost it a little bit. When you want to watch ‘big’ football, you watched other games. That’s the truth.
“It was always on my mind that it would be really exciting to be there, but you can never be sure if a club like Liverpool will call you and ask if you want to join.
“In the moment when it happened, it was a little too early because I thought I needed a longer rest.
“But when I had Mike Gordon on the phone, I felt immediately ‘the energy is back’. The last thing I needed then was a holiday. I was on fire from the first second, so it was an easy negotiation for both sides and we came together and it was a really good decision.
“It feels today, brilliant. We met so many fantastic people, we moved to another country which is something I would recommend everyone to do it one time.
“You can see, we’re not that different, eh? A lot of things are similar, it’s a nice thing to know. We met fantastic people and made fantastic experiences and it’s just brilliant.”
Following an intense season that produced several memorable moments, the Reds suffered heartbreak against Real Madrid in May, losing 3-1 in the Champions League final.
Klopp admits that he needed some time off to forget about what happened in Kyiv, but says once that was over, it was back to business.
The boss also reflects on the pressures he faced during the latter stages of last season, where the Reds were still chasing Champions League qualification for the current campaign.
“I needed a few days or weeks to get rid of all these thoughts around the Champions League final.,” he said.
“The last part of the season was outstandingly intense. We had a lot of injury problems, we played with 12 or 13 outfield players this part of the season.
“It was big pressure. If you want to, or have to, achieve the Champions League spot and it’s not done and everyone’s talking to you about the quarter finals, semi-finals, final – so I needed time to calm down.
“After that, it was easy. We did transfers but they were pretty much sorted already. There was a moment – two to three weeks before the pre-season starts – when I really started planning things.
“I’m quite experienced enough to give myself time where I don’t have to and should not think about football, because if you’re not ready you can’t make the right decisions.
“So you sit there and think about the season, but it was obvious we had to improve – it was clear. But this year, it was even more difficult because we had a lot of players at the World Cup and they came back later.
“But it was clear from the first session that we must work on that. Then when the ‘offensive’ guys came back, we had to tell them the good news that they had to do different jobs.
“That’s how it always works, that’s not a big secret.”
The manager also adds how he feels “blessed” to have his current crop of players, whilst insisting “nothing has changed” for the Reds when it comes to realigning their targets.
“I am blessed with these boys. They are really smart. We couldn’t have had the development we’ve had the last couple of years if they boys were not smart,” he said.
“All teams have good footballers all around the world. It’s all about understanding the situation the right way and dealing with it, your skills, talent and the group around you.
“Nothing has changed. We all are smart enough to understand the right way. The target for a club like us, if we try to do everything, is to qualify for the Champions League next season.
“From a different point of view, money-wise it’s very important to the club – it gives us opportunity to do different things in the future.
“We’re building a new training ground, all that means money. We want to have good players in the next few years as well.
“So that’s what we do, all that’s different is that the basis for the rest of this season is a little bit better. That’s, of course, because of what the boys brought on the pitch.”
Jurgen was speaking to NBC’s Arlo White in what is a fascinating insight in to the Reds boss. You can watch his interview in full above.