Two of our favorites met over video chat this week, as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke with NBC’s Rebecca Lowe about the manager’s life during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s no surprise to hear the Liverpool boss is focused on bigger issues than the absence of football, even as his team waits to be crowned Premier League winners for the very first time.
In fact, any issues football is facing are less important, he says.
“Other people have bigger problems,” he said. “Losing their jobs, being seriously ill. The elder and more vulnerable people, that’s what we have to think about. In these moments you can lose a bit of patience, that’s normal, but we try to give a positive perspective as well.”
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Rebecca asked the 52-year-old what he hopes humanity learns from this time in history. He says he hopes that one of the lessons is to take care of older people like we do now, and ultimately that what we have in common is bigger than our differences.
“If we really take care of each other more, that’s very important. We are so often in our own world, so this problem shows that the whole world has the same problem. It happened in one month, the whole world had the same problem. Before that there was Brexit and problems between the countries. In this moment, we really see we live in the same place and we have to take care of the same place. I really hope we can learn this from the time. I’m pretty sure we will. This generation is good in learning.”
Klopp says he’s taken the current situation “as good as possible” and admitted that he’s found some joy in having time for unusual pursuits.
He’s learned how to tie.
“It’s unbelievable. I learned it in 30 minutes probably but 52 years before I had absolutely no skill for it.”
Klopp also says he’s started running again, and that he has a warmer relationship with his dog due to the extra time spent together.
He says Liverpool has stayed connected and has found success in communication through a huge chat group.
“We have a wonderful chat group with roundabout 60 people, players and pretty much the whole Melwood staff,” Klopp said. “It’s a really lively chat and that helps a lot. We wanted to do that from the first day, we said nobody should be alone in this situation. Nobody should feel alone.”
Klopp said Liverpool’s big challenge as a staff is control. He’s a leader and an organizer. He can handle the first part from a distance but the latter proves a challenge.
“We are pretty good in planning things but usually we plan for a moment and we don’t know when this moment will be. We will not know if we will we start or when we will start, which we all hope for, and it’s not clear whether we have three weeks or four weeks preparation. … We take what we get.”
The club is still “as organized as possible,” Klopp stressed.