Jurgen Klopp’s a classy guy, and showed it in today’s press-conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Newcastle.
Liverpool host the Magpies, now managed by Rafa Benitez – our much loved former boss – at 3PM, knowing the visitors probably need a win to save their top flight status.
But far from sending out bullish pre-match statements, Klopp was full of grace, looking forward to welcoming an old friend to his former stomping ground.
“I know him. I like Rafa. He’s a really successful manager and a nice person,” Klopp began.
“If someone wants to celebrate Rafa’s achievements here tomorrow that’s absolutely okay. I’m fine with this. Do how you feel.
“He’s a very successful manager, a nice person! Be louder than you have ever been – that’s absolutely okay. That’s how I would say hello to a good old friend.
“He still lives around here, nobody has to ignore this wonderful moment. Do how you feel!”
Can you imagine Jose Mourinho making similar statements before Benitez returning to Stamford Bridge…?!
The quotes are great, but sadly for Benitez, Liverpool won’t be looking to do his side any favours this weekend – when mathematically, the top four is still a possibility.
Klopp’s likely to shuffle his pack, but the suggested ‘weakened’ XI thrashed Stoke and Bournemouth over recent weekends, and could do the same to his Newcastle side.
Benitez will set the Toon out in a defensive style, they kind which worked so well for us away in Europe back in the day, but the likes of Sheyi Ojo and Jordon Ibe have enough pace and trickery to create whoever Klopp chooses to play up top goals.
You can watch the full clip, courtesy of the Echo, here: