Jurgen Klopp recalls story of being drunk at Mainz while disguised as Santa

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Jurgen Klopp jumped to Wayne Rooney's defence on Thursday afternoon after pictures surfaced of the England captain drunk at a wedding.

Following last week's convincing 3-0 win over Scotland at Wembley, Rooney was captured looking worse for wear at their hotel in Hertfordshire and has since been slammed by the press.

Cue Klopp, who boldly defended the 31-year-old's actions in a press conference and expressed dismay at the way he's been treated.


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"He's apologised for having a glass of whatever? I really feel for the players," he said, per the Daily Mail. "There's a human being behind the kid.

"This generation is the most professional generation of footballers we have ever had. The legends drank like devils and were still good players.

"I'm pretty sure what Wayne did wasn't so serious. That's the life we live, under a [magnifying] glass and in one or two weeks no one will remember this."

There's a reason why Klopp has been so supportive of Rooney, though.

In the same press conference, the eccentric Liverpool manager recalled a hilarious story of being caught by the press drinking at a Christmas party with friends during his days at Mainz - while disguised as Santa Claus!

"I had a story with myself when we had 11 points and we were last in the table," Klopp continued. "We had a Christmas break and friends of ours wanted to have a party in the city.

"Nobody had seen me because I had a mask. I didn't feel too good, but I needed a little bit of help and I went out. I did it.

"Then, at the end, there was one point when you are a little bit drunk so I lifted the mask and then the next thing there is a picture. The next day Bild said: 'That is how Klopp celebrates 18th!'

"It's not actually like I celebrated but it was the picture. This happens and you go on."

Turns out Klopp was a bit of a rebel himself in his youth.

United legend and former teammate Gary Neville has similarly defended Rooney, claiming he had absolutely no reason to apologise for his behaviour.

Like Klopp, Neville knows exactly how players used to drink and party 10-20 years ago.

He tweeted: "It's embarrassing. Wayne Rooney shouldn't have apologised. Or if he did his fellow teammates should have been with him!

"Maybe the ones that were with him shouldn't have let him take all the crap on his own!"

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