Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has compared Franz Beckenbauer’s endorsement of his managerial abilities to that of ‘the king knighting a man’.
The former Bayern Munich president recently tipped his German compatriot to one day follow in his footsteps and take the helm in Bavaria.
Why has Beckenbauer backed Klopp for Bayern? Five key things to know…
- Klopp’s Liverpool eliminated Bayern from the Champions League round-of-16 following 3-1 aggregate win on Wednesday.
- Current manager Niko Kovac has endured a mixed start to his tenure.
- After the match on Wednesday star striker Robert Lewandowski criticised his defensive tactics.
- Beckenbauer has praised Klopp’s attacking style of play, believing he “taught the Germans how to play football quickly”.
- ‘Der Kaiser’ has since backed Klopp for the Bayern hot seat with the Liverpool boss flattered by the recommendation.
Liverpool ran out comfortable 3-1 winners at the Allianz Arena in midweek, sending Bayern crashing out of the Champions League, and setting up a quarter-final tie with Porto.
The Bavarians are currently second in the Bundesliga having won the previous six titles and have now failed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in eight years.
As such, Beckenbauer has recently backed Klopp to take the reins and help transmit his Borussia Dortmund philosophy to his former club.
The statement has been met with glee by the current Liverpool manager who believes appraisal from ‘Der Kaiser’ of German football is tantamount to a royal blessing.
“Someone told me what was said by Beckenbauer,” he said.
“No, it doesn’t put pressure on me.
“I am blessed to have known him for 14 years. It is something quite special and I think I can say we are friends. When he speaks positively about me, it is just like the king knighting a man ‘sir’,” he added, referring to Beckenbauer’s nickname of ‘Der Kaiser’.
“I feel good here [at Liverpool] but if I lose against Fulham what do you think will happen then?
“I really like it when people speak positively about me, because I am like all other human beings. But I wouldn’t say I need that praise. If my family and friends think positively of me that’s important to me. But all the rest I have no influence on.”
Liverpool travel to west London to take on Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.
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Klopp: ‘I love it at Liverpool’
The recent comments from Beckenbauer, a former World Cup and European Cup winner with Germany and Bayern, will have certainly agitated Liverpool fans.
Since taking the job on Merseyside Klopp has completely changed the club’s fortunes, transforming them into genuine Premier League and Champions League title challengers.
And while the prospect of a return to his homeland to manage the biggest club in German football may prove a mouthwatering prospect, Klopp has reaffirmed his commitment to the Reds.
“From my point of view, being here at Liverpool is a really good fit. I love it,” Klopp said.
“The club has given me a lot of opportunities to develop a really good football team.
“Of course, there are a lot of people talking constantly about things. If you win a game, you are the best. If you lose a game, you have no clue about football. That’s the world out there, but inside this club we are not involved in that because we don’t think in that way.
“What I will say is that I have enough confidence to say I am the right manager for this club at this moment.
“Of course, we will see how that is in the future. We all have to prove every day that we are in the right place. So far it has all worked out for me here – and hopefully it will last a bit longer. That would be cool.”