What Alex Ferguson Predicted When Jurgen Klopp Took Over At Liverpool
When Jurgen Klopp took over at Liverpool in October 2015, Sir Alex Ferguson delivered a bold judgement on how he would perform.
Manchester United's 13-time Premier League winning manager made a prediction that looks incredibly wise in 2020, admitting of LFC's appointment five years ago: "I'm worried about it."
The pair knew one another from meetings at FIFA coaching classes in Switzerland and Sir Alex clearly spotted Klopp's abilities from the start. He had no doubt that the German manager could succeed in England.
"It's a good appointment. I admire him," he told ESPN when asked about Klopp at Liverpool. "I know Jurgen pretty well through our meetings at coaches' classes in Geneva.
"He's a strong personality, very strong, very stubborn, determined and his performances, and his career at [Borussia] Dortmund was a stellar rise to the top. I think he'll do very well.
"I don't like saying that, being Liverpool, because I'm worried about it. But, no, he'll do well."
Fergie had been retired from management for two years by this time, but his eye for a great coach was clearly still as strong as his assessment of players. He pulls no punches in predicting Klopp's success - and given Liverpool's rise over the last five years to champions of England, his words look spot-on in hindsight.
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Despite the fierce rivalry between Man United and Liverpool, Klopp and Fergie share a warm relationship. The pair exchanged messages on the day of Liverpool's belated Premier League title win in June - with Ferguson revealing the German woke him up at 3.30am.
As Klopp explained it, via BT Sport: "The problem was that I came back late in my room that night and I couldn't sleep immediately so I went through the messages I got and one of them was from Alex Ferguson.
"I just replied in a very polite way I think. It was about 3.30am-4am and I didn't expect him to have his phone next to his bed. I didn't want to wake him up. If that happened then sorry Alex!"
:speaking_head:"Your personality went right through the whole club and I will forgive you for waking me up at 3:30am to tell me you won the league"- Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 27, 2020
Sir Alex Ferguson announcing Jurgen Klopp as the LMA manager of the year pic.twitter.com/ijpXLz6Btw
Klopp also called Ferguson "the John Lennon of football" in 2016, emphasising his overarching greatness. A quote which may not have pleased too many Scousers at the time, although we reckon he's done more than enough to win over the red half of Liverpool since.
Whatever happens now with Klopp and Liverpool, Fergie clearly stands correct in his admiration of the German coach. Perhaps Man United should just ask for Fergie's verdict when they next need a new manager in charge? Then again, maybe not...
All imagery: PA Images
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