This week, Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp won the award for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach, for the second time running. And he was in high spirits during his press conference today.
When asked about the award, he remarked with characteristic humility, “If you asked me if I was the world’s best coach, I’d say no. If you asked me if I had the world’s best coaches around me, I’d say yes.” I mean, aww.
His comments were also sought on the rejection of the 5-substitute rule by Premier League clubs. He stuck by his stance in favour of the rule, saying, “Everyone knows the 10 clubs who voted against it. Pretty much it’s only them who have voted against it in Europe or even the world. It wasn’t about advantages, it was about player welfare.”
On Thiago Alcantara’s imminent return to the pitch, Klopp was asked if he is eager to return, to which he said, “He is, he is. We already made jokes here; I said, ‘I think we should sign Thiago for January!’
“He gets closer and closer and he is in a good way, but we will not rush it, we cannot rush it and he will not [either] because he is not allowed to rush it. Of course, it’s nice having him on the pitch, training, doing a lot of stuff, but he is not in team training yet and that’s actually the final step.
“We will see how this weekend looks with him on the pitch and then next week [see if he] can be in team training. I don’t know in the moment 100 per cent. There are a few tests, he has to pass a few tests on the pitch until we make that decision.
“That’s not only for him the case. With Millie it will be similar, with Shaq it will be similar… if I forgot somebody it’s not because I am disrespectful, it’s just a lot of players are injured in the moment.”
He also expects Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner to return to full training next week. The Reds play Crystal Palace tomorrow at Selhurst Park.