There are certain places that contain very specific memories for all of us. I will, for example, never be able to set foot in San Diego without thinking of the time I spent there with my best friend. Some memories are hazy and indistinct — nothing more than a feeling or a mood. But sometimes, when the memory is particularly important, particularly life changing, you can remember it with perfect, technicolor clarity.
Send Jürgen Klopp to Lisbon, where he and the team are right now to play against Benfica in the Champions League quarterfinals, and apparently he’ll tell you about the last time he was there, when he got a call about interest from Liverpool Football Club.
“We were completely in a holiday mood but there were some rumours around which we didn’t really follow. But our sons, they pick up everything! I knew from them a little bit that a couple of things could happen and then, when we were sitting there [at a coffee bar], the phone rang,” Klopp recalled during the pre-match press conference.
“I didn’t take a lot of phone calls at that time - my family was around, so why should I talk to anybody else? But it was my agent who is my friend as well, so I picked up the phone. And then when he said ‘yeah, Liverpool is calling’ the boys were staring at me and I just said ‘it’s Liverpool’.
“In that moment, for them the decision was made... And it was clear that we’d do that because it just felt right from the first second. It was a life-changer, definitely.”
Hard to believe that it’s been six-and-a-half years since that day back in October of 2015, but the changes to the club and the success they’ve achieved prove that the manager made the right choice that day. Or, at least his kids did.