Jurgen Klopp will not be distracted by praise from Franz Beckenbauer, after the Germany great identified the Liverpool manager as the ideal candidate to revive Bayern Munich’s fortunes.
Liverpool defeated Bayern 3-1 away from home on Wednesday to eliminate the Bundesliga heavyweights from the Champions League in the round of 16.
Beckenbauer, a World Cup and European Cup winner with Germany and Bayern respectively, claimed appointing the former Borussia Dortmund boss at Allianz Arena “would be the highlight”, crediting the 51-year-old with teaching German football to play quickly during his tenure at Signal Iduna Park.
Klopp, though, appears determined to remain at Anfield for the foreseeable future.
“Someone told me what was said by Beckenbauer,” he said ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match against Fulham on Sunday.
“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 reached the Champions League final last year, losing to Real Madrid, and are battling Manchester City to end their long wait for a Premier League title.
“The first thing you have to do is make sure everybody respects the opponent the right way – and we will do that 100 per cent.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 15, 2019
“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.”
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