Reports have been circling that Real Madrid are looking to make Jürgen Klopp their latest acquisition after Zidane’s resignation… here’s why it won’t happen.
Jürgen Klopp is going nowhere this summer.
I know you’ve probably seen the headlines too.
“Real Madrid stars want Jürgen Klopp as Zidane replacement,” is a popular one – although not if Ronaldo has anything to say about it apparently.
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How about that incredibly reliable Spanish outlet Don Balon’s sensational claim that was today quoted in the equally reliable English outlet the Daily Star: “Jürgen Klopp to sign for Real Madrid on two conditions!” Spoiler, it’s to sign David de Gea and Mohamed Salah. How unimaginative can you get?!
Oh and if you didn’t already figure, those uses of the word “reliable” were complete and utter sarcasm.
Aside from the basic fundamentals that point to the German staying on Merseyside for his previously planned seven years – Klopp is contracted to Liverpool until 2022 and the likelihood of him leaving to a club that just defeated his current employers in the final of the Champions League is minimal to none – Jürgen Klopp is Liverpool Football Club personified.
While there have been other beloved figureheads in charge of Liverpool – such as Rafa Benitez for instance – none have represented the identity of this club in the way our Jürgen does. The German understands exactly what this great club stands for both on and off the pitch and the way he’s brought the fanbase and the players together as one unified force is unrivalled.
This a man who, while boasting a reputation as one of football’s biggest characters, whose enthusiastic, boisterous, charming and at times, hilarious, personality make him the biggest presence in any dressing room he enters, remains a football romantic at heart.
Speaking to club-legend Robbie Fowler about Liverpool before the Reds Champions League final heartbreak, one seemingly innocuous yet highly important sentence left Klopp’s mouth: “It is a football club. A football club.”
While Klopp acknowledges that globally Liverpool is a “world class brand,” his affirmation that the club “is still a family, nothing else,” is just further proof that he gets it. He really, truly gets it.
While just like every other manager who is in the game and at a top club, his goal is to win titles and give the supporters something concrete to celebrate, ultimately, Klopp manages football clubs because he is mad about the game.
He took the job at Mainz because they were his beloved home.
The affection and genuine love he felt for the club, paired with the chance to bring them success meant that even after they were relegated in 2006-07, any thoughts of financial gain or reputation weren’t entertained and the German remained with the club for a further year in a bid to bring them back up.
When he did leave, it wasn’t for any old club.
It was for Borussia Dortmund, a club that like Liverpool, prides itself on creating a stamp on world football through its’ atmosphere as much as the football played on the pitch.
It was a match made in heaven and despite his final season not going exactly to plan, his eventual farewell in 2015 was a stunningly emotional affair. After all, Klopp had brought excitement to Borussia Dortmund, installing his now trademark brand of explosive, chaotic football, reaching a Champions League final and winning five trophies in the process.
It’s this obsession for the romantic side of football that Klopp claims led him to sign for Liverpool in the first place.
When the German took over the club from Brendan Rodgers, they weren’t so much in a crisis as a ‘rut,’ having slipped from a second-placed finish in 2013/14 to a sixth placed finish the season after in a campaign summed up by a 6-1 humiliation on the final day to Stoke.
Not even three years later and everyone involved with the club has refound their feet, re-discovered their identity and renewed their confidence.
We’ve finished in the top four in consecutive seasons for the first time since 07/08 into 08/09 and while all have so far ended in heartbreak, the club has reached three major finals since 2016.
We’re also spending big money on big players, attracting world-class talent such as Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keïta to come and play on the red half of Merseyside when just three years ago, Christian Benteke was our second most expensive transfer of all time and we were still paying Mario Balotelli’s wages.
Why, when now on the brink of bringing his Liverpool vision to fruition and having the club better poised for success than ever before in the modern era, would Klopp trade that for a branded, shallow juggernaut such as Real Madrid?
The short answer? He won’t.