Jurgen Klopp is the first winner of an award that honors Germany’s relationship with Britain… as the Liverpool boss talks about ‘falling in love’ as a teenager with the country he now calls home
- Jurgen Klopp is the inaugural winner of the German-British #Freundship Award
- The 54-year-old describes being overwhelmed by English generosity in the 1980s
- Klopp longed for the country one day and got his wish with a move to Liverpool
- He has since won the Champions League and Premier League with the Reds
Jurgen Klopp is the first to ever receive a special award at the home of his former club Borussia Dortmund.
The German-British #Freundship Award has been set to honor the relationship between the two countries, with the Liverpool manager collecting the trophy on Friday at Signal Iduna Park.
It was established by the British Chamber of Commerce and the British Embassy in Germany.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is the first-ever winner of the German-British #Freundship award
Klopp took the prize at Signal Iduna Park – where he excelled for Borussia Dortmund
When accepting the award, Klopp joked: “With all the things my supporters have said about me, I thought: ‘In the absence of alternatives, maybe I’m the right one. [for this award].” But I’m very happy with it.”
The 54-year-old also shared a story about the time he decided as a young man to live in the place he now calls home.
‘I went interrailing to England when I was 18 with my cousin. The weather was bad even then. Still, we fell in love with the country.
‘People offer you bed and breakfast for £5 [a night]. I am from the Black Forest. It would have been our last resort to let a complete stranger sleep with us for money.’ His experience led him to long for a life in England “one day”.
Klopp has also expressed his disapproval of Brexit, telling The Guardian in 2018: “History has always shown that if we stick together we can solve problems. When we break up, we start fighting.
“There has never been one time in history where division produces success. So Brexit still makes no sense to me.’
Klopp has previously spoken about his aversion to Brexit and the importance of political unity
He echoed those sentiments on Friday, telling the 300-strong audience, “At the time, I didn’t think it was possible for something like this to happen. But it happened. That’s how it is now. We’re dealing with it.’
To applause, he added that it is important to emphasize “there are great people on both sides of the water.”
Speaking about his wider political beliefs in a book by journalist Raphael Honigstein, Klopp said in 2017: “I’m left-wing, of course. More left than center.
Klopp’s first taste of managerial success came when he led Mainz to promotion in 2004
He then won back-to-back titles with Dortmund to break Bayern Munich’s dominance for a while
‘I believe in the welfare state. I am not privately insured. I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate.
My political insight is this: if I do it right, I want others to do it right. If there’s one thing I’ll never do in my life, it’s vote for the right.’
After a successful career at Mainz, playing 325 games for Mainz between 1990 and 2001 and scoring 52 goals in that time, he became the club’s manager for seven years, where he was promoted to the Bundesliga in 2004 before being relegated to the second level three years.
His time so far with the Reds has seen him win the Champions League and Premier League
Nevertheless, his performances at the club earned him a chance at Borussia Dortmund, which proved to be a match made in heaven as he secured back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 before winning the Champions League in 2013. reached the final.
More European grief followed his move to Anfield. A defeat in the 2016 Europa League final against Sevilla preceded more Champions League woes, this time at the hands of Real Madrid.
However, he finally got his hands on continental silverware as the Reds defeated Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid before taking the Merseyside giants’ first Premier League crown as they stormed to the title, with 99 points.