World Football

They said it: Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool looks on
© Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp has long been afforded cult status among German football fans, but today the world game is more than aware of the coach's witty lyrical talents. Kloppo, as he is affectionately known by friends and colleagues, has found a unique - and usually very funny - way to give his own take on his time in the managerial hot seat at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and, now, Liverpool.

With the latter two meeting in the UEFA Europa League, seeing Klopp return to the scene of his greatest triumphs in football - winning back-to-back German Bundesliga titles, a DFB Pokal and taking Dortmund to the UEFA Champions League final - we are taking the opportunity to recall some of his best quips and quotes. So enjoy the two-time German coach of the year and 2013 FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football runner-up giving his views on everything from heavy metal football to Robin Hood.

“Honestly, for me, football is deadly serious for 90 minutes and that’s it. The whole circus that’s built up around it, the protagonists who are made out to be this, that, or the other – it’s all crazy, obviously, and happily I’m smart enough to be able see that for what it is. So I tend to prefer a more humorous approach to the subject.”
His views on the way football is covered in the media

"I am 'The Normal One'. I am a normal guy from the Black Forest. I was a very average player. I don't compare myself with these genius managers from the past."*
*After being compared to Jose 'The Special One' Mourinho

"Unfortunately I was never able to transfer what was in my head onto the pitch during my playing career. I had the talent for the regional leagues and the brain for the Bundesliga - so I ended up in the second division."
On his qualities as a defender

"My abilities were somewhat limited in comparison with his…"
On former Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann

"I've had to put up with poor football for long enough - mainly my own."
On his ambitions as a coach as opposed to a player

"Maybe that was the case when I was 17 or 18."
When asked whether he was a 'one-night man' after temporarily taking over the leadership of the Bundesliga table with Dortmund early last season

"We're still encouraged to phone players directly. If we make their agents an offer, they usually think we're pulling their leg."
On Mainz's shoestring transfer policy

"If the fans want emotion and you give them a game of chess, one of you is going to have to find a new stadium. 60,000 Dortmund fans don't want to sit there twiddling their thumbs. They want to see passion!"
On the mentality of the Borussia Dortmund fans

"We have a bow and arrow and if we aim well, we can hit the target. The problem is that Bayern has a bazooka – but then Robin Hood was quite successful."
On Dortmund taking on Bayern Munich

"It doesn't make it any easier to run your heart out when you've just woken up in a five-star hotel. Too much comfort makes you comfortable." On the 'difficulties' facing modern footballers

"When we last won in Munich, most of these players were still on breast milk." Following Dortmund's first victory at Bayern in almost 20 years

"He's leaving because he's Guardiola's favourite. If it's anyone's fault, it's mine. I can't make myself shorter and learn Spanish."*
*On Mario Gotze joining Bayern

"It was like a heart attack. It was one day after the win over Malaga. I had one day to celebrate and then somebody thought, 'Enough, go back down on the floor'.”
His initial reaction to the news of Gotze's sale, coming shortly after hitting two injury-time goals to beat Malaga in the UEFA Champions League quarter finals

*"We didn't practise with the heading pendulum. Unfortunately you can't set it that low."

*After the diminutive Shinji Kagawa scored a header against Karpaty Lviv

*"In extreme situations, you have to think fast. At one of my mates' stag parties, we all dressed up as Father Christmas - fully masked!"

*On remaining discreet when out in public

*"Sometimes I scare myself when I watch the pictures back on television."

*On his extrovert and sometimes aggressive demeanour on the touchline

"When I was younger, we always wanted to play in conditions like this, but we were not allowed to because mum didn't want to do all the washing. Now we can play in these conditions, but nobody wants to."
On his Borussia Dortmund team playing in the mud at Freiburg

*"If it smells of sweat in here, it's me. The match was just so exciting!"

*Klopp to his Schalke counterpart Fred Rutten in the lift as they made their way to the post-match press conference following a 3-3 draw in 2008

*"I don't really know how often I shave. There's no regular rhythm. I can't see myself in the mirror in the morning anyway - I'm too short-sighted."

*The secret behind Klopp's ever-changing facial hair

*"The same day you finally understand the game of football!"

*In response to the question of when striker Nelson Valdez would finally leave the club

*"Of course! I was a regular customer at the meat counter during the World Cup. I always picked up something for the barbecue."

*When asked whether he still goes shopping

"He is really something. I love him. He is Sir Arsene Wenger. He is hello (makes a handshake gesture). But he likes having the ball, playing football, passes... it’s like an orchestra. But it is a silent song. I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud. I love Arsenal’s style, but I cannot coach it because I am a different guy. If you watch me during the game I celebrate when we press the ball and it goes out. To enjoy football you have to do this. If, over the last four years, Barcelona were the first team I saw playing when I was four years of age — this serenity of football, they win 5-0, 6-0 — I would have played tennis. It is not my sport. I don’t like winning with 80 per cent of possession. Sorry, that is not enough for me. Fighting football, not serenity football, that is what I like. What we call in German 'English' football — rainy day, heavy pitch, 5-5, everybody is dirty in the face and goes home and cannot play for weeks after." *
Giving a deep insight into what he loves in the game and his philosophy

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