Premier League: Champion Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp inspired by ‘impressive’ All Blacks

Jurgen Klopp. JAN KRUGER/GETTY-IMAGES

Champion Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed how the All Blacks inspired him throughout his nearly two-decade career in charge.

Ahead of the newly-crowned Premier League champions’ trip to Manchester City on Friday (NZT), Klopp spoke of how New Zealand’s premier sporting team shaped his coaching right from the start when taking over German club Mainz 05 in 2001.

Klopp said he adopted the All Blacks’ mantra: “As long as you wear this shirt, less than 100 per cent is not allowed”.

“I was completely impressed by these big fellas and how they spoke about [the shirt]. At that time, the All Blacks were, 100 per cent, by far the best rugby team in the world and it was a really impressive thing,” Klopp told a press conference.

“[They were] all full amateurs, they worked as butchers, as builders and all that stuff, but these pretty impressive guys, they spoke about their past and what it meant to them to play for this team.

“I’m sure I told this [story] already a few times, but in the last two minutes before the team bus arrived at the stadium, we always listen to the haka… it was pretty loud and impressive and it gave us just a little kick.

“They were the All Blacks and Mainz, the main colour is red, so we made ourselves the ‘All Reds’. Nobody noticed that because we were a small club and a small team but for us it was big.

“That’s how it started for that team, I don’t how much the influence was of that, but if you asked the players of that time they would say they really liked it and it gave us the chance, from a team nobody is interested in, to become a team that at least we were really interested in. That helped us.”

 

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