Jurgen Klopp is deservedly being hailed for Liverpool’s title-winning run in the English Premier League this season but the Reds should also be thankful to his wife Ulla for persuading her husband to take up the job at Anfield instead of going to Old Trafford.
Liverpool became Premier League champions for the first time in history earlier this week after Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat by Chelsea on Thursday, giving them an unassailable 23-point lead with 7 games remaining and ending a 30-year trophy-less run in the English League
And Klopp is getting the full credit for being the man responsible for taking Liverpool back to the top of the English football, securing a 19th league title. His name now is certain to be slotted alongside those of other managerial greats at Anfield — Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish.
But believe it or not, Jurgen Klopp wouldn’t have even joined the Reds had it not been for his wife Ulla, as he was in talks to succeed the legendary Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 2013.
Instead, in 2015, Klopp chose the Merseyside club as his next step after leaving Borussia Dortmund thanks to Ulla’s advice, as revealed by Reds legend Phil Thompson.
“I interviewed Klopp for Sky, and I asked if he and Liverpool were created for each other. He looked at me and asked ‘Why?’.
“Then Klopp told me he could have taken over Manchester United, but his wife said it wasn’t right.
“When Liverpool arrived, his wife said it was right. There is something strange there. It is as if he’s created for Liverpool,” Thompson told TV2 in Norway.
The fate of the two teams has been contrastingly different since Ferguson left Manchester United and Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
United won 38 trophies – including 13 Premier League titles – in Ferguson’s 26-and-a-half years as manager but have just 3 trophies to show since his retirement in 2013.
Liverpool on the other hand, have been crowned European champion, world club champion, and now Premier League champion, that too in the space of just 13 months under Klopp.
“No disrespect to the other managers before him, but I felt it from day one when he came in the door. He just changed everything and everyone followed him,” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said about Klopp.
With Jurgen Klopp having a contract through to 2022, there will likely be many more magic moments for fans to share with their leader who has put Liverpool back on its perch. And they have Ulla to thank for it all.
“We really have to – and will – stay focused, we see the opportunity… but ‘will not stop’ doesn’t mean we will win everything, we just want to improve,” Klopp made it clear after securing the title on Thursday.