In 2018, Jürgen Klopp lost the final of the Champions League with Liverpool against Real Madrid. Now is the chance for revenge. But the coach goes into the game on Saturday with a different attitude. And he also recommends more positive things to journalists.
Before leaving for Paris, Jürgen Klopp gave an English journalist a brief introduction to his life philosophy. "They prepare press conferences very differently than I do," said the Germany Liverpool manager after being asked about his team's five deficits in the past six games. "I would never pick anything negative in advance," said Klopp: "If you want it to happen again, you can talk like that. Maybe you can learn something from it. For private life."
Klopp is already thinking positively again, and that after the first really severe setback of the season. He missed the title in the English football championship in a long-distance duel with Manchester City by one point and a few minutes on Sunday and thus also the chance of the historic quadruple. Nevertheless, the 54-year-old is currently rushing from one honor to the next record with the Reds. On Saturday in the Champions League final against Real Madrid (9 p.m. / ZDF, DAZN and in the ntv.de live ticker) he could crown an outstanding season.
"I couldn't care less," said the coach at the press conference before departure. But he really didn't mean the Champions League title as such, but the next record that he could set with it. He would be the first Premier League coach after Sir Alex Ferguson to win the top flight for the second time. He is already the first alongside Ferguson to win a European Cup, the league title and both national cups with the same club. He won that with Liverpool this season. And on Tuesday he was honored as Coach of the Year on the island.
"If you receive such an award, you are either a genius," said Klopp at the ceremony: "Or you have the best coaching team in the world." When he extended his contract until 2026 at the end of April, he is said to have given up money in favor of his assistants.
In a few months, Liverpool will be the longest station in Klopp's already very constant coaching life. He was seven and a half years in Mainz, seven in Dortmund, in October he will be seven in Liverpool. And he is still brimming with ambition and motivation. "I can't wait," he said, looking ahead to the final against Real. The whole football world will be "red or white" on Saturday. He loves that. And the disappointment of last Sunday has long been processed.
"It's been a great season either way," he said. "If we win the Champions League, it's going to be fantastic." But that doesn't mean that it doesn't matter how the game ends. "Who knows how often you'll reach a Champions League final," he said, "so you better take the few chances that come up."
Klopp is in the final for the fourth time on Saturday. That was also a record. For a day. Then Real became the opponent and his colleague Carlo Ancelotti became the sole record coach again with five participations. Klopp won his only title so far in 2019 against Tottenham Hotspur. In 2013 he lost with Dortmund against FC Bayern Munich, in 2018 with Liverpool against Real.
It was "time for revenge," said Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah. Klopp can not do anything with it. "There's a feeling that we want to make things right, definitely," he said. "But that can't be the main thought. If we go there and 'Revenge! Revenge!' trumpeting and all that stuff - it doesn't work that way. It's not us." And it would probably be too negative.