According to former Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jürgen Klopp’s future is likely to involve an English championship and, eventually, taking on the Bayern Munich job. Or at least that’s what he told Bayern Sponsor T-Mobile today.
“Klopp is one of the top coaches, but he has not won any major international titles,” said Hitzfeld when asked where the Liverpool manager ranks amongst the greats of German coaching. “He will be an English champion sooner or later, of that I am convinced.
“He is building something in Liverpool, is a motivator, and that is a fantastic thing for German coaches. To make it in England is not easy, and he is doing it.”
Klopp has helped to return Liverpool to the Champions League this season and took them to the Europa League final in his first year at the club, and the team looks as strong now as it has at any point in the Premier League era. With a few key signings, it could be the strongest ever Liverpool side in recent history.
That may not be a league title, at least not yet, but it speaks to Klopp’s ability and his reputation, especially this summer, with players like Naby Keïta and Virgil van Dijk—no matter how their transfer sagas eventually turn out—appearing to pick Liverpool over their rivals.
That all seems fairly self-evident, and it would be hard to quibble with Hitzfeld’s suggestion that Klopp has shown signs he’s likely to find success at Anfield and that doing so would help him move up the ranks of German coaching greats.
What seems a little less so is Hitzfeld’s conclusion: that doing so will lead Klopp back to Germany, but to Bayern Munich, the club he battled for years at Dortmund and who he watched regularly poach his best players.
Given Klopp’s love of and apparently loyalty towards Dortmund, it seems a stretch, but then anything is possible in football—nobody would have expected former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez to end up at Chelsea for a spell.
“He will always belong amongst the candidates for Bayern,” Hitzfeld added. “He knows the Bundesliga, was a German champion. I think and expect him to be coach at FC Bayern.”