Thank you for making it How are you Jürgen Norbert Klopp? (laughing) I´m good. Thank you So far, I know you are an early riser? And an early riser is always on time. Which things can you not stand? I have understanding for people not being punctually. I prefer them being late than getting hurt or injured in road traffic. But if I am eventually unpunctual it strikes me out. If I sit it the car and realize I wont´t make it that is a problem for me. It doesn´t make me angry but I just think – puffs – my blood pressure rises. I just don´t like being late. I just can´t shake it off. But angry? No. I can´t remember the last time I was angry. A referee decision is mostly not a cool thing. So, it´s the Swabian guy that is so accurate in you? Or your parental home? Or self-discipline? Puh, I don´t know why. Mother or father? Probably both. My father is more palatine (Pfälzer) and not Swabian. I was never the guy that slept long in the morning So, it´s more the geens. I´ve always been self-disciplined So, if three people go partying and the question comes up “Who is driving?” expectable that I´ll end up as the driver. That´s a fact and how it is. But if someone else offers do drive, I won´t say no. How do you like it in Liverpool? Very good. You´ve been here awhile. Three and a half years. Actually, a little longer. Very good. It´s beautiful. Big club, awesome club. But I mean more like England. Beautiful. We live in a nice city. You don´t realize how nice the north west of England is till you actually see it. If England had better weather, it would be a holiday destination. The weather is really mixed. Spring and summer are just beautiful. Autumn is very long and not as nice. They don´t really have a winter here. Otherwise we live in a great city. Short distance to walk down to the sea. Clime is just right, so it´s perfect. And the people in Liverpool are very nice. We went down town today and spoke to the people living in Liverpool. It´s more a worker’s city. And if we look back you always lived in places that are not as push. It was Mainz and not Wiesbaden, Dortmund not Düsseldorf. Now Liverpool not London. Liverpool not Manchester. So, you can actually get the feeling you like being around those who actually stand solidly on the ground? Could be – Could be coincidence. Mainz and not Wiesbaden? Wiesbaden didn´t even had a football club. But you could have lived there. That´s true. But living in Düsseldorf and working for Dortmund that was never an opportunity. But is that who you are? If you say Liverpool the city and the club are handled by workers. Probably I am workers trainer then. I don´t like being a VIP. I can´t take that. We asked the people and they said you are one of them. He is so down to earth. Everybody just loves him. Even the Everton Fans sometimes. He is great for the city. And he will definitely do the people proud. As he arrived he went out for drinks that same night. He seems like a genuine guy. I love Jürgen Klopp because he is a brilliant. A brilliant manager and he´s brought fun back to football. Would you like to have him as a son in law? | I would, yes (laughing) I have to be honest but the opinion from others isn’t that important to me. I don´t need to be liked by everyone. I don´t have time for that. And if I bother people, I can´t change it. I do not try to catch the attention just because I am around. On the other side the opinion from my family and friends is very important to me. But not everyone has to like me. But I don´t like hiding at home. I don´t go out a lot.We do “normal” things. I take the dog out for a walk and if my wife doesn’t want to cook, we go out for dinner. To us it is an average thing to do and some are not used to things like that. But the people have to get used to that. “Oh he eats.” Yes of course he does. I had to eat in Mainz and in Dortmund, and I eat a lot. I don´t make plans where I can go out to eat so I don´t get recognized. And if I would go out to Liverpool, I would need security, so I don´t go out in the city on my own. Back in Mainz you had problems going out. You went to a bachelor party and you had to dress up to not be recognized. Mainz was a different thing. We dressed up because we wanted to party and drink. So, these are the things you shouldn´t do in public. And to be honest that night we really got drunk and you don´t want all the pictures in the magazines the next day. Nowadays you are a world-famous trainer and probably get a lot of money. But which price do you pay in your private life? I think my players pay a higher price than me. The boys are in an age they want to go out you want to inhale life. And me, I am settled. I am married to the woman I love. I have the sons I always wanted and if they start having babies, we will have the grandchildren we always wanted. Which means I am not looking for anything anymore. The world outside isn´t important to me anymore. So, I don´t pay a price that I don´t want to pay. For my family it´s sometime more difficult. Like if I don´t want to go out they will stay at home with me. But that´s all a question of organization. If you would have beamed me from 2001 to 2019 I would´ve gone crazy but actually my career developed until today. So that´s all ok for me. In the past years I learned to say no. The problem with this situation is meeting me in the streets it is normal to me but for my counterpart clearly not. And these contrary worlds sometimes crush. For example, if I see people walking on the streets my heart doesn´t start beating faster but if someone sees me their heart could. This will only last for the next years. I used to force myself to take pictures with everyone but if I am in a bad mood, I will say no to a take picture with me. So, if I am out with my family you will hardly get a picture with me, if I am out by myself the in all probability you will. Because I´m with them in this situation. And to live with someone saying “You have become very arrogant” is something I have learned to live with. The number three is a very important number to you and your life. Very nice! I did my research. In Mainz and Dortmund, it took you attempts to succeed. 8/9, 9/10, 10/11 *counting* Yes This could happen again in Liverpool. It also would be the third final. Yes. We are really trying. People may think just because I lost the last six finals, I don´t want to go there anymore – untrue. I will try so long until it´s going to work out. Doesn´t it feel weird driving around Liverpool and seeing a big painted picture of you? I really don´t need it. For me personally it has nothing to do with me. Do you feel uncomfortable? Leaning to yes, but I don´t have the feeling they have to tear it down now. I´ve accepted it being there. All my friends send me pictures standing there and making jokes about “you are hanging here”. It´s ok for me and is registered very positive. And as a trainer you have to go with the flow and time and if I will be remembered in a positive way, I am very happy and the times as a trainer worked out well. And I believe the painted picture won´t stay there forever. Around the corner they painted a Steven Hawkins picture. And I hope that stays forever. They painted famous people in Liverpool. Steven Hawkins and Jürgen Klopp. That´s fantastic. Do you sleep dream in English? I don´t dream a lot. I always wake up before I start dreaming. But I think I actually dream in English. But football is always involved. Especially in this stage you wake up and suddenly have the line-up on your mind. That´s awkward sometimes. Do you sleep well? Yeah I fall a sleep straight away and wake up early. What if everything wouldn´t have worked out the way it did with the 2nd National Football League. If you had to work in another job. You graduated Abitur (similar to high school) and studied sports. So far, I know some of them even awarded. I was awarded, too. Frank Kroll received an award in language. Hartmut Rat in science and Jürgen Klopp in sports. Three really good friends received the awards from school. I can´t remember what was said to the two others but probably something very positive. Over the microphone the headmaster said to me: “I really hope it works out with the football otherwise I feel gloomy about your future”. At that time, I didn´t really have the feeling that my future was so one-dimensional. I was playing football myself and I could tell that the world wasn´t waiting for me but it didn´t feel that bad. So I would have handled it. I saw you playing and can tell you always gave a 100%. That´s true. I really had fun and sure put in everything so that was my right to exist playing. What was the most emotional moment with Mainz? Entering the first Bundesliga. That was so emotional. Look at this and you can reminisce. I know that goal. (One year later they are not missing points they are missing the goal difference – they failed again). We will show the country that we are the only club that works even harder and comes back even stronger. I´ve got goosebumps. (there is no other club than Mainz 05 (We made it to the 1. Bundesligaaaaaaa) In Berlin we thought this is going to be a once in a life time chance and then in Braunschweig, we were sure – so actually twice in a life time. And the next morning I started believing. We learned so much and now we are friends for a lifetime. The time in Mainz taught us many life lessons and thaught us that joy and happiness outweigh everything. That´s such an important information. What´s about winning the title? Yes, I want to win titles. But I know that my
happiness in life does not depend on that. That´s important information. That´s what we learned in these times. I can remember sitting with Willy at the “Laternche” we couldn´t believe as we looked at the results of the other clubs. There was no possibility to promote but they all had lost. And I texted in the group chat “If they don´t want to promote – we will”. From then on, we won almost everything except Regensburg we only drew and thought it´s over again and as we walked in to the dressing rooms they told us Aachen lost again. So therefore, it was clear, if we win the next game at home and Aachen loses again, we make it. There was a child standing at the fence with a branded coke radio and the moment Karlsruhe scored this kids eye were filled with sparkles of joy and climbs the fence fence – I can´t look at it without crying. It was a lifetime dream for us. Just imagine us, Mainz, the Bundesliga doesn´t need us they weren´t waiting for us, they didn´t even know us but that´s where we are heading now. I´ve never heard a better story. That was so wicked, and it just steeled us for a lifetime. Besides football Mainz is a very special place. Where is home and where does your heart feel home? Mainz What does it mean to you? Just home. It was 18 years. I travelled a lot and I actually lived there a long time. It´s a cool place. Why is Mainz special to you? I like the people it´s very mixed with a lot of young students and I love the culture and tradition. We have a lot of friends and the weather is always nice and it lies centrally. You are born in Glatten and you often go there how does it make you feel? Do you get the feeling of being a teenager again? No. But I drive past the open-air swimming pool and just think of the incredible times. I loved living there although I knew I will leave one day. But I liked living there. Super childhood. Growing up in the countryside was amazing. Until I was fifteen, we only went on holiday only once I had everything I needed. I spent my school holidays at the outdoor swimming pool and as all my friends came back from vacation, I was tanned the most. With one mark fifty (old german money) some sweets and ice cream I got through the day. Sounds great Absolutely it was amazing. You then left Glatten and Mainz. How hard was it saying “good bye” to Mainz? I left Glatten with nineteen and I wanted to experience the world, so that was easy. I left for Eintracht Frankfurt and signed a contract, started studying. I was excited leaving the little village to experience life. Just a new beginning for me after school. But Leaving Mainz…… Everything I am, everything I do… You made me become…. I like being sad at a farewell it just means you really had a great time. If you just leave and say “bye” it´s not special. I was so involved in Mainz I wanted to do it different in Dortmund. At your farewell you opened emotionally completely, and people were quite surprised. I didn´t have any other chance. Do you think I like sobbing and crying in public? But it doesn’t happen anymore, it was just the process at that time. Christian Heidel told me we are doing a farewell party and I thought it was not necessary. And then standing on stage and looking in all these faces, you just can´t hold it anymore and it showed how special that time was. What a strong memory! Its not hard to cry in public – even for men – it just shows how special the time was. You lost your Dad, when you were young. What are you more afraid of? Death or dying? For me. Neither or nor. I mean one is fact and the other is a process. As a fact I have accepted it. I just wish that I fall asleep and won´t wake up anymore. With that I have no problem. We are living on borrowed time and with all the antibiotics we don´t know how long we will live in the future. Maybe 150 years. Maybe fixing your status in your forties and then another 90 years or so… To me it´s hard saying goodbye forever to others but if I die, I am gone. But we have to accept it, it´s a time contract we all have signed. That´s very objective. Because that´s how I see it. If it´s about me. Thinking about my family it´s a completely different story and if I hear someone’s kids died before them is just horrible. A guy like you lives their life a lot in public. Are you aware of that or? Do you sometimes have the feeling that you have to get yourself down to earth again? Or how do you feel about it? I don´t have any chance to live my special status on a usual base. I get up in the morning and go training. We don´t have any help: no cook or anything we do that all by ourselves. So, then you get to the club and do your job and in the afternoon or evening I go home -that’s it. A quite normal life. However, If I do have to go to the doctors, I don´t have to wait because patients could feel uncomfortable. I am the party crasher. The people do not enjoy themselves, because they want a foto with me and I can´t enjoy it either. For everybody its important then, but not for me. Thats why I don´t do such things. Sometimes I get asked if people are nice to me because I am who I am. I don´t care about first acquaintances I really care about my long-term friendships which I know for over ten or fifteen years. The other questions is will I meet “best friend” today or in the future or do I already have them. Friendship is not like meeting a person and you are instantly friends. It evolving and sometimes you get friends or not. I am 51 years old so I think I already have them if some new join I feel blessed, but I am not looking to become more familiar with new people. Life isn´t as complicated as people think. Some think we are like “superstars” like Pep Guardiola he can´t live the life he sometimes wants to. Some people just seem to be very arrogant to protect themselves, but they actually are not. Definitely. I am the last person to be arrogant but if you are having an important phone call and won´t put the phone down to take some pictures. They will think he earns so much money and is so arrogant he can´t even put the phone down for me. This is a situation you can´t run from. Are you a political man? Sure. Do you sometimes get upset with the situation about Brexit or other topics in Germany? How do you inform yourself? I am a typical newspaper reader. And I already said that I am quite happy being in England while the Brexit is taking place. The Germans easily can say the British are going crazy and I really can say they are not. This decision was based on wrong information. The people speaking out loud won the Brexit and the reasonable people just shook their head and didn´t understand what was going on and then the UK voted for Brexit and a lot didn´t realize what had happened. Now they must learn the hard way. But the people are so alike to the Germans. A little a different taste, they like mint, but otherwise they are brilliant. Ansgar Brinkmann told me you jumped as a player over the fence? Top source. *laughing* Over the fence? In trainings camp? On Mallorca Over a fence? no. Escaped from training? It wasn´t me. Ansgar is not a good storyteller. I don´t know. I had to be on the look-out so the boys could escape and I didn´t care. The next morning, I wanted to train again regardless what the others were doing. To be with them would be the cooler story, but I wasn´t But when we had a free evening, I would go out and drink, but I had to be one of the first to go home because I got so wasted and threw up all over the floor. But the “escaping-tours” I didn´t join I only joined on the free evenings There were a few guys escaping, but I wasn´t one of them. What´s most important in your private life? What really satisfies me is doing my job. The Job I´m really good at. Not once in my life I had the feeling I am going to work. That´s cool, isn´t it? And some days I can´t really believe how lucky I am. Crazy, like my headmaster said in school. It worked out with a football-job. With whom would you love to go out for a beer? I had a drink with Boris Becker he would´ve always been my number one answer but he falls out now, but I just saw a documentary about Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi and they are just amazing. They seem to be good people. I agree. But what about Obama or Michael Jackson, although he is dead. Yeah, I really would like to. But with Steffi I have more of a connection. I used to watch Steffi and Boris play tennis and I was so into them. We are almost the same age and I was a real fan back in the days. The role model of my youth was…..? Karlheinz Förster und Boris Becker. I really wanted to be Boris Becker. He and me played tennis and it was my biggest wish to play as good as he did. It´s true. What different name shall I say? Che Guevara? I just thought Boris was cool and Karlheinz was my idol playing football and in all different areas of my life I didn´t need anybody. I could also choose Winnetou. I admired him too. My major weakness……? Outside of football there are way more structured people than me. Trying to make an appointment with me is very difficult. Tell me to be there and I will make it because I really want to focus on what I am doing. I am the most unorganized guy on this planet. You once said you don´t care what people think about you so you easily can speak in front of a big audience. Is that your greatest strength? That I can speak in front of people is a natural talent. 5:0 in Erfurt and you made four goals. On a day like this it just seems you can make everything happen. You won´t always make that goal. You must have really enjoyed this day. I can speak in front of people, but they must decide if they enjoy listening. My first appearance on German television I already felt that way but you couldn´t see because I was starring at the floor. I don´t know if I am the perfect professional football player but I don´t go to bed at 8 pm. It’s simple, I have a two- and half-year-old son and a working girlfriend, actually wife to be, who works and if I have practice until half past 6 I can´t wonder around Mainz until nine o´clock. “shot four goals….” “I always drive home earlier….” Legendary! In a jeans outfit, I look like old Shatterhand. Nice times. What was going on at that time? Were you more calm or moderate? I went with the time. Thinking of Guido Schäfer telling jokes and stories I cried tears and really enjoyed life but also my football companions lived the life of a professional football player. But I was a young dad. You can’t say: “I’ll be back in three days.” It was a different time back then.