Klopp’s first trophy of the season! Liverpool boss returns to Borussia Dortmund to pick up the German-British #Freundship Award as he recalls how he ‘fell in love’ with the country he now calls home during an Interrailing trip as an 18-year-old
- Jurgen Klopp is the inaugural winner of the German-British #Freundship Award
- The 54-year-old describes being bowled over by English generosity in the 1980s
- Klopp yearned for the country one day and got his wish with a move to Liverpool
- He has since won the Champions League and the Premier League with the Reds
Jurgen Klopp is the first ever recipient of a special award at the home of his former club Borussia Dortmund.
The German-British #Freundship Award has been set up to honour the relationship between the two nations, with the Liverpool manager picking up the trophy at Signal Iduna Park on Friday.
It was established by the British Chamber of Commerce and the British Embassy in Germany.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is the first-ever winner of the German-British #Freundship award
Klopp collected the award at Signal Iduna Park – where he excelled for Borussia Dortmund
On collecting the award, Klopp joked: ‘With all the things that my supporters said about me, I thought: “For lack of alternatives, maybe I am the right one [for this award].” But I’m really happy about it.’
The 54-year-old went on to tell a story about the time he decided as a young man that he would live in the place he now calls home.
‘I went Interrailing to England with my cousin at 18. The weather was bad, even then. Nevertheless, we fell in love with the country.
‘People offer you bed and breakfast for £5 [a night]. I come from the Black Forest. It would have been the last thing for us to let a complete stranger sleep with us for money.’ His experience led him to yearn for a life in England ‘one day’.
Klopp has also expressed disapproval for Brexit, telling The Guardian in 2018: ‘History has always shown that when we stay together we can sort out problems. When we split then we start fighting.
‘There was not one time in history where division creates success. So, for me, Brexit still makes no sense.’
Klopp has previously spoken about his dislike of Brexit and the importance of political unity
He echoed those sentiments on Friday, telling the 300-strong audience: ‘At the time, I thought it was not possible for something like this to happen. But it happened. That’s the way it is now. We have to deal with it.’
He added to applause that it is important to emphasise ‘that there are great people on both sides of the water’.
Speaking about his broader political beliefs in a book by journalist Raphael Honigstein, Klopp said in 2017: ‘I’m on the left, of course. More left than middle.
Klopp’s first taste of managerial success came when he guided Mainz to promotion in 2004
He then won back-to-back titles with Dortmund to briefly break Bayern Munich’s dominance
‘I believe in the welfare state. I’m not privately insured. I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate.
‘My political understanding is this: if I am doing well, I want others to do well too. If there’s something I will never do in my life it is vote for the right.’
After a successful playing career at Mainz that saw him rack up 325 appearances for Mainz between 1990 and 2001 and score 52 goals in that time, he then became the club’s manager for seven years, winning promotion to the Bundesliga in 2004 before suffering relegation back to the second tier three years.
His time so far at the Reds has seen him win the Champions League and Premier League
Nevertheless, his exploits at the club earned him a shot at the Borussia Dortmund job, which proved a match made in heaven, as he secured back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, before reaching the Champions League final in 2013.
More European heartache followed after his move to Anfield as a Europa League final defeat in 2016 to Sevilla preceded more Champions League misery, this time at the hands of Real Madrid.
However, he finally got his hands on continental silverware as the Reds defeated Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid before winning the Merseyside giants’ first Premier League crown as they stormed to the title, racking up 99 points.
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