Football: Five things to know about new Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

German Juergen Klopp was unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool on Friday.
German Juergen Klopp was unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool on Friday.PHOTO: AFP

Name: Juergen Norbert Klopp

Age: 48

Teams managed: Mainz (2001-2008), Borussia Dortmund (2008-2015)

Honours: Bundesliga champion (2011, 2012), German Cup winner (2012), German Super Cup winner (2008, 2013, 2014)

On Friday, German Juergen Klopp was unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool. The former Borussia Dortmund coach takes over from Northern Irishman Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked on Sunday.

Klopp left Dortmund last summer, citing a need for a break. During his seven-year spell at the club, he became the club's most successful manager. He also led Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013.

All this, in spite of a tight transfer budget and in the face of giants and 25-time Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Here are five things to know about the man who has Reds fans buzzing with excitement.

1. One-club player

Born in Stuttgart, the 1.93m-tall Klopp spent his entire playing career in the second division with Mainz from 1989-2001. He started out as a striker, but switched to defence midway through. With 52 goals in 325 appearances for Mainz, Klopp was never capped for Germany.

"As a player I had fifth division skills and a first division brain. The result was a second division footballer," Klopp once said of his playing career.

2. Style

Klopp is a favourite of the media as a result of his over-exuberant touchline celebrations and steady stream of wisecracks. It is not uncommon to see the German running the length of the pitch to celebrate with a jump and a punch. The floppy haired man revealed he once tore a muscle during one such animated celebration.

His effervescence on the sidelines translates to the way his team plays. Dortmund plays an intense, fast, and exciting brand of football, characterised by pressing high up the pitch, incisive passing and constant movement off the ball. Klopp likens his style of football to heavy metal music.

3. Polishing raw diamonds

Klopp is a master motivator adept at improving players, as his track record at Dortmund proved. The likes of Shinji Kagawa, Ilkay Gundogan, and Robert Lewandowski joined Dortmund as promising players, but became established stars playing under Klopp.

4. Fan favourite

Klopp makes sure his players respect the fans - A trait that will make him popular with Liverpool's Kop. Last December, with Dortmund rooted at the bottom of the table, he made the first-team serve fans beer at the club's Christmas party. For around two-and-a-half hours, Mats Hummels, Marcos Reus and Co. served beer to some 1,000 fans.

5. A man with his quirks

Klopp is known to walk home after some matches so that he can analyse the game. In 2013 he underwent a hair transplant and said "I think the results are cool, don't you?" Former team-mate Michael Thurk said Klopp and him often discussed matches in the changing room toilets - over a cigarette. He has also won awards for his work as a pundit for TV station ZDF.

Five of Juergen Klopp's best quotes:

1. In reaction to ex-Bayern Munich defender Dante's goal-line clearance in the 2014 German Cup final, which Dortmund lost 2-0:

"I didn't need glasses. If a player plants his right leg on the goal-line and clears the ball with his left, he'd have to belong to Cirque du Soleil for it not to be a goal."

2. On the difference between him and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

"He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It's like an orchestra. But it's a silent song. I like heavy metal."

3. On taking Spanish lessons in preparation for a coaching job in Spain:

"Yes - I can now say 'one beer please'!"

4. On competing with Bayern Munich

"We have bows and arrows. And when we aim precisely, we can hit the target. It's only that Bayern have a bazooka. The probability that they will hit the target is clearly higher. But then Robin Hood was apparently quite successful."

5. On losing key player Mats Hummels through injury:

"We will wait for him like a good wife that is waiting for her husband to leave jail."