‘I thought somebody was prank-calling’ – Ragnar Klavan recounts how he signed for Liverpool

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Ragnar Klavan has admitted that he thought he was being pranked when he had his first phone call with Jurgen Klopp.

The Estonian defender joined Liverpool in 2016, a few months after facing them in the Europa League with Augsburg, and spent two seasons at Anfield.

If some Reds fans at the time may have thought it was a move out of left-field, the player himself was also surprised to get the call from Merseyside.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Klavan has recounted: “I didn’t think I would be a Liverpool player, no. I think it all happened because before Liverpool I was playing in the Bundesliga and Jurgen and his coaching staff had seen me for a few years.

“When I heard about the interest from Liverpool and then when the deal was done, it is a feeling that I cannot describe. It was really amazing. It’s a special club and there wasn’t any other thought in my head other than Liverpool.

“I think my first conversation with Jurgen was via phone. In the beginning, I thought somebody was prank-calling me. So he stopped the phone call and sent a selfie and then I believed him!”

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Although Klavan mightn’t have been the most recognisable defensive name that Liverpool could’ve signed in 2016, close followers of European football would’ve known him to be a Bundesliga stalwart, having racked up 125 appearances over four years in the German top flight (Transfermarkt).

He wasn’t a guaranteed starter at Anfield but still featured in more than half of the Reds’ Premier League games across his two years at the club and played 53 times under Klopp (Transfermarkt).

His time on Merseyside is best remembered for his stoppage time winner at Burnley on New Year’s Day 2018, but perhaps his standout performance came in the Merseyside derby win at Goodison Park just before Christmas 2016, when he was named BBC‘s man of the match.

A true Liverpool cult hero, he served the club commendably during his time with us and was warmly welcomed back for the Legends match last weekend.

Thankfully, that call from Klopp seven years ago wasn’t a prank, and thankfully the manager acted swiftly to satisfy the Estonian’s initial curiosity.

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