48 hours ahead of his first foray into the bitter rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United, Jurgen Klopp has hailed Sir Alex Ferguson, the legendary Red Devils boss and the greatest manager of his generation, “the John Lennon of football” in a really thoughtful, profound series of quotes.
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Liverpool fans — even those who grew to respect the masterful Scotsman — will loathe to hear their new manager waxing lyrical about one of the most despised figures in the history of their rich football club, but Klopp’s honesty and candor on the subject shows him once again to be the thoughtful, genuine human with whom the footballing world has become so fascinated.
Klopp, on his time spent with and respect for Sir Alex — quotes from the Guardian:
“I had a few really good moments with Sir Alex. It’s a big honor to talk to Sir Alex. For a manager it’s nearly the best thing you can do, to sit there and listen. I needed 10 minutes to understand what he was saying and then it was OK.
“Maybe he is the greatest ever, the John Lennon of football or something like this. From my side there is a big amount of respect. What he did in his life as a manager is not easy for someone else to do it.
“What he said about me? I don’t know. I think it was positive because we had a good time together. It is good that he is concerned but I have to prove it. We need a little time. We can make a big step but not the biggest step. It is Man United, there is enough to think about.
“It’s a special game for me, the players and the club. I enjoyed the atmosphere against Arsenal but we can do better. Everybody who was in the stadium on Wednesday, if he or she can get tickets again then do it again.”
It’s a bit of a shame Ferguson isn’t still the man patrolling the touchline at Old Trafford, leading United into Sunday’s clash with the Reds. For Klopp to face someone he so obviously and deeply respects would not only be a treat Klopp himself, but also for the fans watching all around the world as well.