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Klopp shares “unbelievable” trait with Ferguson that “hasn’t changed”

Jurgen Klopp has drawn comparisons to the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson after one of his former players revealed the German manager’s most impressive attribute

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Jurgen Klopp on missing Sadio Mane and Mo Salah

Jurgen Klopp has been praised by one of his former players for his “unbelievable” human nature – a trait he shares with the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.

The German has overseen a meteoric rise at Liverpool since his appointment back in October of 2015, helping the famous club return to their glory days of yesteryear.

Klopp guided the Reds to a sixth Champions League crown in 2019 and then ended the Anfield club’s 30-year wait for top-flight silverware with the Premier League title only 12 months later.

The charismatic coach is so often lauded for his the high-energy approach and the free-flowing football he fosters within his teams, however, one of his former players, Tim Hoogland, believes it’s Klopp’s “unbelievable” interpersonal skills which are his most impressive trait.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been lauded for his “unbelievable” interpersonal skills

“Even now, we are still in contact,” Hoogland told The Athletic. “We send messages — not often, but this is one of the things that is unbelievable, and I’ve never seen it before (from one of my former managers).

“When I text Klopp, he will always answer within an hour. His empathy, his human nature is unbelievable.

“That’s something that hasn’t changed from when he was my coach in 2008 to now. His human skills were way above everything I’ve ever seen in football. It’s not something you see very often.”

The ex-Bundesliga defender only played under Klopp for one solitary season, 14 years ago, in an unspectacular campaign which saw Mainz fail to achieve promotion out of Germany’s second division.

At the end of the season, Klopp departed as Borussia Dortmund came calling and footballing stardom lay in wait, but Hoogland revealed his former boss would always make time for his ex-players.

The German defender went on to add that his old boss even helped him out days after Champions League glory with Liverpool back in 2019, with Klopp not hesitating to put him in touch with Reds legend Robbie Fowler.

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Klopp has drawn comparisons to Sir Alex Ferguson – a footballing icon considered the greatest manager of all-time
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Hoogland, who once spent a short time in England at Fulham, revealed he was gearing for a move to Australia or the MLS for one final hurrah when he messaged Klopp out of the blue, half-heartedly asking if he would liaise between he and Fowler, who was managing Brisbane Roar at the time.

Needless to say, Klopp replied immediately, reportedly stating, ‘I will talk to him now’.

Hoogland added: “It’s why he’s in his position and why everyone loves him, why everyone wants to work for him, and everyone wants to work their backside off for him.”

While the former Schalke fullback may be right, exceptional human skills aren’t always a quality associated with top-level managers, Klopp isn’t the only high-profile coach to have garnered a reputation as a man of the people.

Manchester United legend Ferguson, widely regarded as the greatest manager of all-time, was held in similarly high esteem and was renowned for always taking time to advise fellow managers, as well as players.

Much like the former Red Devils boss, Klopp possesses a stern streak, which often appears when situations don’t go his way, though he usually comes across as an affable and gregarious character.

Former Fulham full-back Tim Hoogland revealed he is still close to his ex-Mainz manager Klopp
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Jamie McDonald)

“He has a good balance,” Hoogland acknowledged. “He can be really serious and really hard in training, but on the other hand, he gives you so much fun.

“Maybe if you take a shot and the ball goes 30 metres over, he starts to laugh so loud. He has a nose for these situations. And he delegates perfectly.

“Everyone in his coaching group feels they are needed. Everybody has their own responsibility. That’s why they grow as a group.”

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