In a week that could culminate in winning club football’s biggest trophy, Jürgen Klopp spoke philosophically with Jonathan Liew at the Independent about what football means to him.
“A positive influence? One hundred per cent,” Klopp responded when asked about football’s capacity as a force for good.
“A dressing room in football is the perfect example of how all different cultures work together. Because they have all the same target: winning a game.
“What I like in football is that you can bring together so many people – not only in the stadium – for 95 minutes with exactly the same emotion, with the same focus, with the energy. You celebrate together, you suffer together. And both are nicer. Yes, it is still a force for good.”
It’s this kind of sentiment from the boss that has built up the Reds to where we are now, challenging for the league title and achieving back-to-back Champions League finals.
Klopp has made the Reds in his own image: ebullient, irrepressible, rousing, and eminently likeable.
I interviewed Jurgen Klopp! https://t.co/1xe3AF9goM
— Jonathan Liew (@jonathanliew) May 29, 2019
Liew asked the German how he is able to forge such close, emotional connections with the clubs he manages, to which he characteristically replied with humility: “I don’t know.”
“But we have, as we know, only one life. So make the best of it. Sometimes you can do it by yourself, but sometimes you can’t. And the rest?
“I understand that football is part of the entertaining side of life. So if we bore people constantly, why should they come? So we have to try to give them some excitement. Not only silverware.
“That’s obviously the main target. But between the start and the silverware, there must be a lot of good moments together. And we’ve had them.”
Of course, winning the club’s sixth European trophy on Saturday night is our main goal (and one we think we’ll achieve), but our road to the final last year was paved with some truly memorable nights.
This season, even more so.
Not just a miraculous comeback against Barcelona – which has to rank as arguably one of the greatest games Klopp has led us in – but Napoli at home, PSG, and beating Bayern Munich in their own backyard.
Under Klopp, the Reds have soared to new heights and achieved greatness even if it hasn’t yet been fortified by winning silverware.
He, the coaching staff, all the players, and every single Red will be hoping that changes come Saturday night. Winning against Tottenham in Madrid will be the ultimate vindication of Klopp’s Anfield reign.