Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp talks to ESPN about legacy, staying on top, advice and more

BANGKOK, Thailand – This is the shortest summer for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. Just 45 days after losing the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris, the team, which was close to reaching an unprecedented quarter last season, returned to a friendly against Premier League rivals Manchester United in Bangkok on Tuesday.

Liverpool’s 4-0 win over United at Rajmangala Stadium – Eric Ten Hague’s first game in charge of Old Trafford – is unlikely to provide reliable guidance for both sides’ potential for the 2022-23 season. After all, the preseason is the time to prepare for next year, to adapt to new players, and to learn to cope without what is left. During a two-day stay in the Thai capital, Liverpool, ESPN conducted an exclusive interview with the club at the St. Regis Hotel at the bottom of the club to discuss the issues facing the 55-year-old manager and his players.

Mohamed Salah has signed a new three-year deal for the club’s long-term future, while Darwin Nunez set a Liverpool record after transferring from Benfica, which could cost up to 85m. But the Premier League also faces the challenge of losing to last season’s champions Manchester City, as well as La Liga champions in Europe.

Looking relaxed and energetic after a short summer break, Klopp told ESPN that he is planning for the present and the future after winning two of the four possible trophies last season. The former Borussia Dortmund coach, who signed a new contract until 2026 earlier this year, also discussed his views on Liverpool. Then He leaves the club.

But with the new season set to begin in less than four weeks – and the World Cup between November 21 and December 18 – Klopp says the next season will be challenging as many teams prepare to compete for the pitch.

Editor’s note: This interview is lightly edited for clarity.

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ESPN: Coming very close to winning four trophies, but how do you feel about losing the Premier League and Champions League last season?

Clop: I’m definitely positive about the season and what we did. It would be nice if you could be around [to win everything]But now there is no pain.

It’s natural to get hurt in the moment, when we came down a bit in the league and lost in the Champions League final, but honestly, the next day [when Liverpool had a homecoming parade] He clearly showed people what we need to know. That’s what we do: We do it for the people, and they appreciate what we’ve done throughout the year. It was a great season with great points, crazy games and all these things, so they are really very positive reflections.

We know that if we both win the competition, we will still have to make some changes. You can’t always do the same thing and hopefully you’ll get better results – you need to improve the details, and we would have done the same if we had won, so of course everything is fine now and we’re here, ready to recharge and go again.

ESPN: Sadio Mane has left Liverpool for Bayern Munich, but you have signed Darwin Nunez, who joined Luis Diaz in January. Are we looking forward to seeing your team grow over the next few years?

Clop: It is necessary. Not only did we lose Sadio, but last year we also lost Divok Origi and Takumi Minamino from the sports team. A few other players could go too but we brought Lewis, now Darwin, Fabio in the winter [Carvalho] And Kelvin [Ramsay]It’s really exciting because the kids are fresh and full of excitement with you – big eyes – so it changes the dynamics in the group and it’s really necessary.

I’m currently in my seventh session and it’s important that you don’t repeat the same thing. We want to take ourselves to the next level and for that you always need new input and that’s what we got.

To play

1:40

Mark Ogden says signing Mohamed Salah by 2025 could be good news for Liverpool.

ESPN: Salah signed a new contract and ended speculation about his future, so how important was the decision to stay in the team?

Clop: Of course very important. This is what always happens. If it hadn’t happened we would have had to deal with it, but I soon learned that Cobbler wanted to stay and the club wanted him to stay. Then she just speaks.

If you do this in other parts of the business, no one will know. You feel that moment when they are still together. But in football we all do it in public and so it was a little scary for people, but never for us.

This was a very important signature for us. It was always like this for me: if we had to sign him from another club now, alas, which player would we get? But now we have it and that’s great. You see her here now and she is very happy about the future with us, so yes, there is good news.

ESPN: By signing a four-year deal in April, you are committed to your long-term future for Liverpool, which will take you 11 years at Anfield.

Clop: [Laughs] I’m sorry!

ESPN: But after winning everything, including the Premier League and the Champions League, as manager of Liverpool, now you look ahead and wonder what your legacy as manager is? What do you want or need to do before leaving Liverpool?

Clop: No need. It’s not that I look back at my Mainz time and think back: it’s a good memory that we went to the Bundesliga and won the league twice with Dortmund and the Cup. It’s all great, but it’s not the first thing when I think of my time in Mainz or Dortmund, and it won’t happen when I think of Liverpool.

My goal is to win as much as possible, but when you are out you have to leave the club in the best position. I think that’s really important. It just makes a real legacy because if you squeeze everything out of the club, someone will have to clean up the trash or anything. That shouldn’t happen. The club should be in as healthy a condition as possible and the team should be ready to move on to the next chapter.

But this is the future. I am happy with the current situation and the team we have created.

From an age standpoint, it’s really interesting now, we can really mix it up. We have quality from youngsters, very experienced players and all these things are in this mix. But in all of this, there is a determination and desire to take the next step and win more, and that is what really matters. My point is that everything we do is based on the past, but be prepared for the present and be prepared for the future. You have to put it all together and I think we’re in a good position.

To play

2:17

Jrrgen Klopp talks about UEFA’s investigation into the scenes unfolding before the Champions League final.

ESPN: In those four years, until your current contract expires, do you expect Liverpool vs. Manchester City to be just a matter of honor? You two look ahead.

Clop: We are not so far away. It’s always a misconception about last season’s score.

We played Chelsea – we don’t know how many more points we got, I don’t – but we played it four times and we didn’t win a single game against them. Not because we were bad that day – no, we were really good at that game – but every time, 90 minutes before the penalty [in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals]We never win, so Chelsea is incredibly strong.

You have to see Tottenham and what they are doing now. They haven’t gone bad this year. Arsenal is still, a new beginning for Man United, all this.

It’s always been the same and we’ve changed a little bit – not much, but a little bit. The city may have changed even more, I don’t know, but we’ll see in the next few weeks. But that’s it. The premise has to be right, and it’s right for you and we can go there. I’m not interested in the points I got last year, I’m interested in what I can get this season, but I’m positive, really optimistic, but I’m not sure, so we’ll have to fight and see what happens. The result is.

ESPN: How will the World Cup affect next season? Do you expect this to lead to uncertainty?

Clop: It is bizarre in all parts of the country and internationally. In Germany, they stop playing and resume at the end of January. We start Boxing Day again. His opinion [the World Cup] If you’re still in it, the Champions League will be impressive. I haven’t planned yet, but it’s clear that this is a big challenge and we want to prepare as much as possible for the next period until November.

We have a large group [of players] Going for the World Cup, but thank God they didn’t make it to the finals at all. Many of them can go to the semifinals, which is the length of the competition, so it will be difficult. And then a week later, the kids have to play again.

It’s really, really hard, but it’s a situation and it’s the same for all of us and that’s the good thing about it.

In Europe, I don’t know, but in Germany it’s a very big break and it’s also a challenge – getting back up and running, but at least in the World Cup people get enough breaks. Our players again – surprisingly – not a real break, but everyone is looking forward to performing again in the week after winning the World Cup.

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