Klopp: Nobody admires Julian Nagelsmann more than me

Martin Macdonald
Klopp: Nobody admires Julian Nagelsmann more than me

Jurgen Klopp says he is right at the top of Julian Nagelsmann’s list of admirers, as both coaches prepare for a Champions League showdown between their respective teams on Wednesday.

Nagelsmann is enjoying a burgeoning reputation within world football due to his success and coaching style, and at just 33-years-old, he is viewed as a young maverick of sorts within management.

After impressing at Hoffenheim, he took over at RB Leipzig and developed them into one of the best clubs in Germany as well as taking them to their first ever Champions League semi-final in the 2019/20 campaign.

At some point in his future, he has been tipped to make a move to one of the elite sides in Europe, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Chelsea all having been mentioned as potential destinations previously.

Klopp, a fellow German, is a big fan of Nagelsmann’s talents, and spoke about his compatriot ahead of the last 16 second leg game, with Liverpool leading 2-0 from the first leg.

“My opposite number – Julian Nagelsmann – is one of the most exciting, innovative and adventurous coaches in world football,” Klopp told the official Liverpool website.

“He rightly has many admirers. I am absolutely towards the top of that list. He is a person who I think will relish this situation tonight. He will view it as an opportunity.”

Klopp asks for caution against Leipzig

In the group stage of the competition, Leipzig needed to defeat Man Utd in the last fixture in order to qualify, and did so to knock the Red Devils out.

This came after the previous meeting between the teams which saw Man Utd demolish Leipzig 5-0.

Klopp has asked for caution from his players for Wednesday’s match, as he thinks Leipzig have shown already they can bounce back from a potentially damaging defeat.

“My opposite number – Julian Nagelsmann – is one of the most exciting, innovative and adventurous coaches in world football,”– Jurgen Klopp

“They enjoyed success against Manchester United in circumstances not entirely dissimilar,” he explained.

“Okay, that was the group stages and not the knockout, but the manner in which they took care of their game against United to qualify – having been beaten so comprehensively in Manchester – says a lot.

“It’s a warning, though, we don’t need because we are humble enough and smart enough to see their threat and quality without needing a specific case study. We respect them.”

In the first leg in the middle of February between Liverpool and Leipzig, goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane secured the 2-0 away victory for the Reds.