Jürgen Klopp: The new shadow national coach

Liverpool will cry for a long time. Jürgen Klopp will leave the city and its people at the end of the season. Dortmund, which still suffers from phantom pain without Klopp, sympathizes. Someone like that won’t be coming back any time soon.

Klopp leaves unexpectedly. A year ago, his time in Liverpool seemed to be running out and the peak had been overcome. But this season he has led the club back to first place. He has a good chance of becoming English champions for the second time.

Of course, he not only won titles, but also the hearts of the gray port city on the Irish Sea. He also hit the right tone in his farewell video. “I realize that I can’t do the job like this over and over again,” he says. Klopp somehow does everything right.

Klopp’s imminent demise is also triggering reactions elsewhere, albeit of a different nature. The hashtag national coach is trending on social media. Germany has been looking for the right national coach for many years. The late Jogi Löw and the one-hit wonder Hansi Flick failed in the preliminary rounds, and doubts about Julian Nagelsmann increase after four games.

People would be looking forward to international matches again

Klopp is the German coach who has consistently demonstrated international class. With Dortmund he reached the final of the Champions League. In Liverpool, where he won it in 2019, he grew again with the quality of his players. Experts place him in the ranks of the best coaches, only slightly behind Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti.

His personality makes him even more qualified for the highest office. He has charisma, intellect, wit, rhetoric, integrity. He is trusted to give the many talented players the sense of playing for their country again. So that they can become a team again after torturous years of leadershiplessness. It would be important for German football. People would be looking forward to international matches again.

We don’t know Klopp’s plans, he probably doesn’t have any. If the worst comes to the worst, does FC Bayern or even a comeback in Dortmund appeal to him? Would he really want to work for the sluggish DFB, which has been giving the same implausible explanations for failure for years?

“Couldn’t you have thought about that beforehand, Jürgen?”

Klopp’s latest words will be read as suggesting that he at least thinks it is possible. He says he no longer has the energy needed for the job in Liverpool. This does not contradict the job of the national coach, who is on the pitch much less frequently.

The sports scientist Klopp could be expected to have a new, actually old, professional understanding, as embodied by Sepp Herberger and Helmut Schön: thought leaders who care about the big picture in a similar way to an academic. There is now a campus in Frankfurt.

Some fans will now say: “You’re quitting?! Couldn’t you have thought about that before, Jürgen?” A few months ago, Germany was looking for a candidate for the home European Championships. It will be a very important tournament because it is said to have a social and political impact. It can help unify the nation. A case for Klopp.

In all likelihood, Julian Nagelsmann will quit in July. Then Germany will call for Jürgen Klopp. If the national team shows similar performances against France and the Netherlands in March as they did recently, then it will be even sooner.

Liverpool will cry for a long time. Jürgen Klopp will leave the city and its people at the end of the season. Dortmund, which still suffers from phantom pain without Klopp, sympathizes. Someone like that won’t be coming back any time soon.

Klopp leaves unexpectedly. A year ago, his time in Liverpool seemed to be running out and the peak had been overcome. But this season he has led the club back to first place. He has a good chance of becoming English champions for the second time.

Of course, he not only won titles, but also the hearts of the gray port city on the Irish Sea. He also hit the right tone in his farewell video. “I realize that I can’t do the job like this over and over again,” he says. Klopp somehow does everything right.

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