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‘Blessed’ Jürgen Klopp set to reach 1,000 games as a manager

‘Blessed’ Jürgen Klopp set to reach 1,000 games as a manager

  • Milestone will be hit when Liverpool play Chelsea on Saturday
  • Klopp: ‘I did the job I loved for the clubs I loved so I am blessed’

Jürgen Klopp has said he feels blessed to have reached 1,000 games as a manager but believes his illustrious career would have been over before it had really started had he lost one more game at Mainz.

The Liverpool manager will reach the milestone against Chelsea on Saturday. Klopp has won 548 of his 999 matches, having managed 270 games for Mainz, 319 for Borussia Dortmund and 410 for Liverpool. “It is a massive thing, a crazy number – I feel really blessed,” he said. “The beard is really grey now, and that was not the case when I arrived here. I’m not sure if that is because of the age or because of Liverpool. I did the job I loved for the clubs I loved so I am blessed.”

Klopp’s managerial career began almost 22 years ago when he was placed in temporary charge of relegation-threatened Mainz, where he spent most of his playing career, and tasked with keeping the club in Bundesliga 2. They survived by three points thanks to six wins in the final seven games but Klopp believes he would not have landed the job permanently had the club gone down.

“If we lost one more I think we would have been relegated,” he said. “To win five from the first seven would have been an outstanding number but no one would have recognised it; you just go down to the third league and a promising coaching career would be finished before it really started. I was lucky that didn’t happen.

“The job I do today is completely different but my advice would be: be open, work hard, be curious, nosey, look around the corners and try to find solutions for the problems you don’t have in the moment but will have in the future. The most important thing is be busy, learn the game.

“Coaching is like golf: when you think you have got it the game will tell you differently. You always have to develop and that is what I like most about it. It was not for one second boring – that is the best thing you can say about your working life and the best thing I can imagine to do.”

Liverpool supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly, the Liverpool Disabled Supporters Association and Football Supporters Europe, meanwhile, have condemned the reduced ticket allocation for Liverpool’s Champions League tie at Real Madrid in March. Liverpool fans have been given only four wheelchair tickets – located in the home section – and a reduced allocation of 1,800 for the last-16 second leg because of the redevelopment of the Bernabéu. Uefa regulations state that host clubs must provide 5% of their capacity as an away allocation but Liverpool have been offered 3%.

In a joint statement, the supporters’ groups said: “It is entirely unacceptable for a club to openly disregard Uefa regulations as well as its responsibility to supporters in this manner. The reduced away allocation, if left unchanged, risks setting a worrying precedent for clubs to tamper with Uefa’s regulations and bend them to their own preference as they see appropriate. Real Madrid must abide by Uefa’s regulations on away allocations.”

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