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Klopp's decision will make him Europe's most wanted

15 April 2015, 19:01

London - In football's managerial menagerie where charisma can be as hard to discern as talent, Juergen Klopp, a man richly blessed with both qualities, is going to find himself Europe's most wanted after walking away from Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

The 47-year-old has the presence, the ability and the medals for even the greatest clubs in Europe to come calling. Actually, they already have for some time, recognising a man with the big, magnetic personality to enhance any footballing brand.

The loyal Klopp, to his credit and to the undying love of the Dortmund's magnificent "Yellow Wall" of support, had rejected all the overtures, once explaining with typical relish: "You want to be the team that beats the team with more money."

That may have been his pleasure as he reinvented Dortmund and, on a relative shoestring, created a vibrant era which saw them challenge Bayern Munich's domination, win two league titles and the German Cup and reach the Champions League final.

Yet now he has decided Dortmund need a change, maybe it will be harder for him to resist the lure of "the team with more money" as both Manchester City, who attempted to woo him before, and Real Madrid, still grumbling absurdly about their Champions League-winning boss, will be on alert.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini looks a dead man walking at the Etihad while Madrid's Carlo Ancelotti keeps insisting publicly that his job does not depend on the outcome of the finely-balanced Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid.

British bookmakers William Hill make City the 6-4 favourites to snaffle Klopp, with Madrid 4-1, and one reason that he could end up Premier League-bound is his unashamed passion for the way the game is played in England.

In one interview, Klopp admitted how seeing Barcelona pass teams to death did nothing for him. "Not serenity football but fighting football, that is what I like. What we call in German 'English'. Rainy day, heavy pitch, everybody dirty in the face and goes home and can't play football for the next four weeks."

There is no question that his unshaven, bespectacled, passionate and occasionally crazy face would be welcomed in a league which reflects his passion.

His humour too.

"You drink tea at four o'clock in the afternoon," Klopp once told a group of British journalists. "And no-one knows why in the rest of the world." Maybe he is about to find out.

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- Reuters


WRAP: English Premiership

21 October 2016, 19:13

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