Jurgen Klopp’s predecessor at Mainz admits Manchester United was the manager’s dream destination at one point.
Eckhard Krautzun coached Klopp during his time at the Bundesliga club until he left in 2001, when he was then replaced by the German.
English football was seemingly a passion of the Liverpool boss a long time before his move to England, although a job at Anfield hasn’t always been on the cards.
“It would be his dream to go to England one day and his favourite club would be [Manchester] United. That’s what he said,” Krautzun told The Set Pieces in an excellent interview with Archie Rhind-Tutt.
Reflecting on a conversation he had with Sir Alex Ferguson, he added: “I said, ‘Jürgen Klopp, if he goes abroad, if he goes to England, his love would be Manchester United.'”
“After three or four months not working, I knew that he wanted to be in action again…when the offer came from Liverpool [that October], I knew he would not hesitate because he wanted to get into a top club in England.”
“The emotions in the stadium in Liverpool and the enthusiasm of the fans, the temperament there – that fits Klopp. I was not surprised that the spectators liked him right away.”
“His emotions, the way he coaches the team, the way he jumps around, the way he shows his desire to win, that fits the club.”
“The fans are little more different to Man U. Man U is more quiet, the fans love their team too but there is more emotion and more passion I think in Liverpool. And Kloppo I think is a passionate, very temperamental man. That club fits him.”
Rarely has a group of supporters taken to a manager as quickly and as naturally as Liverpool fans did with Klopp upon his arrival.
His connection with the tradition, the pride, the passion and the history was there from day one and persists to present him as the man to take his club forward.
Things haven’t progressed as smoothly as the German or fans will have liked and maybe expected, but it always promised to be a long-term project filled with special moments and days to forget- much like his seven-year spells with both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp has waited years for a job like this and Liverpool have waited years for a manager like him. You have to believe it will come together at some stage.