Jurgen Klopp is a lovable man. That’s not exactly news around these parts. But some might be interested to know that the affection and esteem that Klopp has obviously engendered over his time at Liverpool is true in his home nation of Germany.
Speaking to the official site, Raphael Honigstein - author of the terrific biography on Klopp, Bring the Noise - indicated that many people back in Germany have a keen interest in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. In fact, Honigstein credits Klopp’s perennial popularity back home and success in England with a renewed interest among German football fans in the English Premier League.
“The level of interest is big, probably the biggest it has been since Michael Ballack was in the Premier League. It’s because Jürgen is such a significant figure in German football. He’s the one guy that, right now, whatever club allegiance you have, you would probably still have a sense that Jürgen Klopp is a nice guy, or at least very competent.”
Look, I think we can all generally agree that his tactical talent aside, Jurgen is one of the more likable personalities in world football. And as Honigstein notes, even if you’ve got a rooting interest in another club, I feel you’d be very hard pressed to find things among Jurgen’s interactions at present to truly complain about. He’s candid. He’s charming. He generally seems to get on well with his opponents. All of that to go along with being a supreme talent in terms of tactics and coaching up players.
In fact, it’s pretty clear that Jurgen’s bonafides are well accepted to the point that most have to credit a large chunk to Liverpool’s ability to compete with Manchester City and recent relative success in the Champions League down to Jurgen's influence. For many, this scribe included, last year’s Champions League Final came at least a year early. And even though they faded down the stretch, Liverpool were also close to City in last year’s Premier League marathon. Now, they’re running neck-and-neck with City in the league and have booked back-to-back semifinal trips in the Champions League. Honigstein’s comments affirm this view.
“I’m astonished, personally, that Liverpool have been this consistent. I didn’t think they were quite ready to do it. The irony is that Manchester City have just been a machine, and Liverpool reaching 97 points might not be enough. But the good news is that Liverpool look set to be competitive for years to come.”
That is, in fact, really good news. Liverpool look set to be competitive in the biggest competitions for the foreseeable future. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm, we know that the potential for this squad is limitless.