Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he still has three season tickets at Borussia Dortmund – his former club who Liverpool will face in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Yesterday’s draw, somewhat inevitably, pitted us against the German giants in a glamorous last-eight tie, for footballing reasons as well as the hype over Klopp’s return.
Klopp managed Dortmund for seven years between 2008 and 2015, ending Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga dominance with two successive titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The Reds boss has admitted that he still has seats at Westfalenstadion, but does not like to visit too often to avoid stealing the limelight from Thomas Tuchel’s current team.
“On the one side, for me I was 18 years at Mainz and then in my break, after seven years at Dortmund, I went for the first time to Mainz’s stadium not as a coach, just to go there,” the Liverpool Echo quotes Klopp as saying. “It was never easy to go back and meet some friends or things like this because there was always another manager and I thought ‘I don’t want to disturb’ and things like this.
“I have a similar problem in Dortmund, to be honest. I still have three season tickets, but my son uses them and is very often in the stadium – when he’s not in Liverpool, of course.
“So, I am looking forward to going there. I loved this place, a few of the best things in my life happened there, so of course I am looking forward to it. But on the other side, I hate the hype around my person in these matches. I know about the business and all the circumstances, that’s clear, but I don’t like it to be honest. I will do what I have to do and then we will see.”
Dortmund have responded brilliantly to Klopp’s departure, with Tuchel having guided them to second in the Bundesliga, only five points adrift of Bayern, in his first season.
And they showed why they are considered by many to be favourites for the Europa League by wiping the floor with Tottenham Hotspur to win their last-16 tie 5-1 on aggregate.
So they may be happy with Tuchel, but we are very happy with Klopp! It is completely natural that a part of his heart remains with Dortmund, and his return could be very emotional.
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