Eintracht Frankfurt’s Mario Gotze has praised Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for his man-management skills.
Speaking to Sport Bild, Gotze said that after playing under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, he was amazed by his leadership.
“Every coach had his strengths and his own philosophy,” said the World Cup winner via SPORTBible. “But from my point of view Jurgen (Klopp) did it best in the area of people management – the team, the staff, the whole club led the best.”
As someone who has played under several top bosses, including Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel, that’s high praise indeed.
Gotze holds Liverpool regret
In an interesting interview with Bild, Gotze also expressed his regret at not joining Klopp at Liverpool in 2016.
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By then, Gotze was on his way out of Bayern Munich after a slightly underwhelming spell with Guardiola. Klopp reportedly wanted his former player at Liverpool, but Gotze opted for a return to Dortmund instead.
Speaking about the move, the 30-year-old admitted that he should have chosen Anfield.
“Liverpool had finished eighth in the first season with Jurgen and had not qualified for the Champions League,” he said. “Even in the years before, this was not the club that always played at the top. I came from Bavaria and had this claim.
“Dortmund had previously played a top season under Thomas Tuchel. BVB was on top. Jurgen was still in the process of building something. In retrospect, you have to say: Liverpool would have been better.”
Easy to see in hindsight, of course. But as Gotze points out, Liverpool weren’t the side they were today. They have Klopp to thank for that, but this was still at the beginning of his tenure.
Instead, Liverpool turned to Sadio Mane. I wonder whatever happened to him? It isn’t the first time Gotze has looked back on his sliding doors moment. What could have been, Mario.
Back in the Bundesliga
At the time, there was a bit of a clamour for Liverpool to bring Gotze in. However, time has proven that the player may have actually done The Reds a favour in rejecting them.
He struggled to get going back at Dortmund, with health issues and injury playing their part in a disappointing four years.
Gotze eventually left in 2020 to join PSV Eindhoven in Holland. Following two encouraging years there, he’s now back in the Bundesliga and will play Champions League football with Eintracht next season.
Perhaps Klopp could have got more out of him at Liverpool. Given the esteem that the player holds the manager in, if anybody could have ensure Gotze fulfilled his massive potential, it would’ve been Jurgen.