Jurgen Klopp is a coach that makes “every single player feel important”, says Mitch Langerak, with the decision of the current Liverpool boss to leave Borussia Dortmund in 2015 coming as a “huge shock”.
The enigmatic tactician walked away from BVB that summer after seven successful years at the helm, with two Bundesliga title triumphs and a Champions League final appearance taken in under his guidance.
Klopp felt that he needed a change after overseeing a memorable period in the club’s history, and ended up heading to Anfield in the October after bidding farewell to Dortmund.
Langerak was among those he left behind at the German giants, with the Australian goalkeeper holding many fond memories of his time working under one of the finest managerial minds of the modern era.
He told Goal and SPOX of that experience: “I didn’t know much about him, but my agent said he was going to be next big coach in Germany and that everybody loved him.
“When I finally met him, he just said: ‘It doesn’t matter if you play badly or make a mistake. As long as you work and train hard, you will never have a problem with me’. I still remember these words today and that is how I lived my first months in Germany.”
Pressed further on what makes Klopp special, Langerak added: “It is the way he communicates with the players; he makes every single one feel important.
“He talked to everyone daily about different things. We were one of the best teams in the world at that time and only 14 players can play. The rest had to wait for the opportunity.”
Klopp has gone on to claim even more silverware in England, with Liverpool winning Champions League and Premier League crowns during his tenure.
Langerak is not surprised by that success, with Dortmund left reeling when it emerged that the charismatic character would be leaving their dugout, although there was acceptance on their part that change has to happen in sport.
“It was a huge shock because we did not see it coming,” Langerak said of Klopp’s decision to seek out a new challenge.
“I remember being at home and watching the news when it came across at the bottom. At the time it was difficult to accept that one of the best coaches in the world was leaving one of the best clubs in the world.
“We owe him so much for what he has done for our careers. But this is football. It is a very professional environment, so nobody came to training crying.”