Jurgen Klopp will forever be known for his managerial achievements than anything he done as a player.
The Liverpool boss played his entire 11-year senior career for Germain outfit Mainz 05. He made more than 300 appearances for the club but didn’t lift any trophies.
Fortunately for Mainz, and eventually Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, Klopp turned his hand to management after retiring. He’s proceeded to become one of the best managers in the game, turning Dortmund into an elite team and guiding the Reds to two finals in his debut season.
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Liverpool’s pre-season trip to the United States has allowed the German to don his boots once again, appearing for the club’s staff team in a friendly against Stanford University.
But any hope of Klopp making a sensational return in a player-manager role can be ruled out.
Physio Ruben Pons scored Liverpool’s goal in a 1-1 draw, although the legitimacy of his goal can be questioned. It doesn’t appear as if his strike from range, which caused a mix up with Stanford’s goalkeeper, actually crossed the line.
Klopp was taking a break from Liverpool’s International Champions Cup preparations. The Reds will take on Chelsea, AC Milan and Barcelona in an exciting pre-season schedule that will allow the German to get a good look at his team ahead of the new Premier League season.
Liverpool’s summer signings, including Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, are in the United States with their new teammates and Klopp is looking forward to spending his first pre-season with his squad.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” the 49-year-old told Liverpool’s website. “If we can, we will be complete hopefully. That’s really good and the biggest difference.
“You have seen we have a very young group at this moment but it works. You can see the games [so far], we haven’t played too often together but we have had a few good situations, some good passing and some good movement.
“It will be intense for all of the players, for sure. We have some interesting games and it will be intense but it is very important and hopefully we can use the time really well.”
Klopp arrived last October after Brendan Rodgers was sacked and the absence of a pre-season with his team was evident in Liverpool’s league form.
The club stumbled to eighth-place in the league, just two places higher than they were when Rodgers departed, and defeat in the Europa League final means the club won’t be in Europe next season.
However, Liverpool’s run to the final of the European tournament, as well as the Capital One Cup, has left fans pleasantly optimistic.