Football

Jurgen Klopp: A tribute

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Klopp has proved a hit with fans & journalists. (©GettyImages)
Klopp has proved a hit with fans & journalists. (©GettyImages).

Energetic, passionate, inspirational are three of the most apt descriptions of the fiery Stuttgart-born Borussia Dortmund manager. 

A few years ago, outside of Mainz 05 where he is a club legend, Klopp was largely insignificant but he has since become a household name among football loving families across Europe. 

He has masterminded Dortmund's rise to the top of the Bundesliga initially before announcing himself on the European stage. Klopp has been credited for much of this but what is so special about him?

The one word that epitomises his Dortmund team, and in fact his Mainz team before, is energy. No other teams rivals the speed and intensity at which they press their opposition and their ensuing counter attacks are equally fast and incisive. 

Their engine room is arguably their most important area with Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender the two key components. There's pace all around his team with the likes of Lukasz Piszczek (who covered the most distance of anyone in the Bundesliga this year) and Marco Reus who are part of their devastatingly powerful attack that so crushed Real Madrid. But the key to making this work is the man at the helm.

Klopp is an inspirational man who can motivate his players to putting in such a huge shift and without him, his players would surely not achieve the same intensity of pressing and attacking. 

Quite a telling example of this is when FourFourTwo asked him to shout any word as if he was shouting at his players for a photo and fittingly he chose 'LAUF!' - or 'RUN' in English. 

He leads by example with his energetic charging around the technical area and he celebrates with unbridled joy and the excitement of a child and this undoubtedly rubs off on his players. When you watch him you can't help but smile because he's such a likeable character.

He also has an eye for a bargain, which has proved key for Dortmund to retain their quality while, held back by financial constraints. Shinji Kagawa is perhaps the best example of this. 

The Japanese star was bought €350,000 and sold on for £17 million two years later (around a 5,500% profit). Other players such as Robert Lewandowski were bought on the cheap and then turned into world-class players. His charisma also helps to attract players. Marco Reus who chose Dortmund over Bayern, put much of his decision down to the lure of working under Klopp. 

In the media he says all the right things too. One of my favourite quotes of his before the Champions League final was "If we win, we're not the best team in the world, but we'll have beaten the best team in the world". This shows his maturity and humility, two more of his loveable qualities. 

His humour is another way he wins over so many people. He's very happy taking the mickey out of himself and not afraid to make a fool of himself. His interview after Dortmund's heroics in the game against Malaga was one of many very funny moments he's provided football fans. His rendition of 'Kloppo you rock star' was another way he endeared himself to many.

It's for all these reasons, his charisma, his energy, his passion that really make the enigmatic Jurgen Klopp so special and why with him in charge, Dortmund can hope for many more future successes.


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Topics:
UEFA Champions League
Football
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