Klopp: “Legends drank like devils, smoked like crazy”

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Jurgen Klopp is about as real as it gets.

ICYMI, photos of Wayne Rooney have emerged which showed him enjoying a few drinks with England fans following the 3-0 win over Scotland last week.

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Okay, more than a few drinks. He was hammered as he gatecrashed a wedding and partied on Friday night. The captain of England and Manchester United has since apologized for his actions, with the FA said to be reviewing how players spend time off while on international duty.

Yeah, it all seems to have been blown a little out of proportion.

Speaking to the media ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Southampton on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) Klopp tried to add some perspective to the situation.

“Maybe you should tell me what exactly happened. Somebody saw Wayne Rooney doing what? Most of the time I speak about things I have no idea about so why shouldn’t I do it now? I feel sorry for the players. We live on the sunny side of life and all this stuff but in the end, maybe it is a surprise, there is a human being behind the kid,” Klopp said. “This generation is the most professional generation of footballers – not only in England – we have ever had. All the legends you admire drank like devils and smoked like crazy and were still good players. Nobody does that anymore. I’ve no idea where Wayne was but I’m pretty sure it was not that serious.”

Photos of a bleary eyed Rooney appeared all over the English media in midweek after he’d been released from the England squad after suffering a slight knee injury against Scotland last Friday.

Perhaps knowing he had that injury and that he wouldn’t be called up to play against Spain in a friendly the following Tuesday allowed Rooney to take a day off from the pressure and strains put on him.

After all, it’s been a very stressful few months for 31-year-old Rooney after being dropped for club and country. Why shouldn’t he be allowed to let off a little steam?

Of course, he has to be professional and allow his body to recover and if he’s out until 5 a.m. and drinking heavily, that probably won’t help with his swollen knee.

Still, did he really have to apologize after having a few cameras shoved in his face and photos taken with fans while he had a few drinks at a hotel bar?

I have a feeling most people will agree with Klopp…