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Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp

Current Club: Liverpool
Previous Squads:

Borussia Dortmund

2016/2017 English Premier League

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Profile

Previous Clubs: FSV Mainz 05; Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund: UEFA Champions League: Runners-up: 2012-13; Bundesliga: 2010-11, 2011-12 DFB-Pokal: 2011-12 German Super Cup: 2013, 2014 

Building teams with little money, winning fans and the media over with remarkable charisma, and being tactically astute; Jurgen Klopp is one of the game's most popular managers. More football personality than boss, Klopp earned admirers for the way he took Borussia Dortmund back towards the summit of European football.

Klopp's humility is one aspect of his personality which endears him to fans. A one-club man during his professional playing career with Mainz 05, he retains close connections with the club. His playing career spanned a 12-year period, during which time he made more than 300 appearances for Mainz.

But it is Klopp's coaching career that has made him a household name. Soon after hanging up his boots, Klopp was appointed as head coach of Mainz, taking over from Eckhard Krautzun in February 2001. He saved the club from relegation to the third division in that half a season, and would begin to shape a successful team from what Krautzun had left him.

His first full season in charge at Mainz saw the club finish in fourth place, just a point away from potential promotion, as the best non-promoted team of all time in the 2. Bundesliga with 64 points. His second full season agonisingly had the same result, a fourth-placed finish, with Mainz missing out on potential promotion this time due to goal difference -- the crucial result coming in the 93rd minute of their final game. The following year would be different. Klopp, on his third attempt, finally broke Mainz's curse and secured a third-placed finish and a spot in the Bundesliga for the 2004-05 season.

Two great seasons of mid-table safety followed in the top division, with clear improvements to their squad and playing style. The club even got the chance to play in Europe, after winning a position in the 2005-06 UEFA Cup through the Bundesliga' s Fair Play league. After winning a couple of games, Mainz were eliminated by eventual winners Sevilla.

Klopp had built a reputation with Mainz but his time at the club finished with disappointment as they were relegated at the end of the 2006-07 season. Klopp stayed with the club one final year in 2.Bundesliga, going full circle as he led them to yet another fourth-placed finish. A tearful Klopp resigned at the end of the 2007-08 campaign.

This is where Klopp's managerial story really becomes interesting. In May 2008, Klopp was approached to take over from Thomas Doll at Borussia Dortmund; he did so, signing an initial two-year contract. In context, German football was well into a revolution of creating young talent and spending less money, the only exception of course being Bayern Munich. Dortmund were a key part of that revolution, with a now world famous reputation for their youth policies, and after nearly collapsing due to financial mismanagement, they needed a man to take them forward under a new system. It was to be a match made in heaven.

Klopp had an immediate impact, securing the German Super Cup by defeating Bayern Munich 2-1. With a young and rapidly improving squad, Klopp took Dortmund to sixth place in his first season, and went one better the following season. It became clear that Dortmund were ready to challenge though.

The next two years brought Dortmund successive Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12, with Klopp winning German Manager of the Year both seasons. Dortmund set records for the then-greatest points tally (81) ever amassed in Bundesliga history and longest unbeaten run with a 28-game streak. Bayern Munich have since beaten those records, however, raising the bar in the Bundesliga title race.

Klopp was initially less impressive in Europe with Dortmund. When he drove them to a first title they then flopped in the Champions League, much to the dismay of the Dortmund faithful. The 2012-13 season saw that change though. Klopp managed to lead the Black and Yellows all the way to the  Champions League final, where they were defeated by rivals Bayern in agonising fashion thanks to an 89th minute Arjen Robben goal. Dortmund recorded some amazing results along the way, including a hammering of Real Madrid, topping a group featuring Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax, and somehow defeating Malaga with two injury-time goals. Klopp received critical acclaim and that led to him being linked to jobs all over Europe including, Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid.

Klopp has created a fearsome young Dortmund team known for their Gegen-Pressing (counter-pressing) system, with fast counter-attacking and exciting football. They have become a much more global brand, with financial security and a youth system which keeps on churning out stars of the future. The rise of Dortmund has been down to many factors, but one man who has captured the imagination and helped mould this record-breaking team is certainly their manager.

Amid more rumours regarding his future, Klopp stayed at Dortmund, claiming first blood in what is sure to be an enticing rivalry with new Bayern boss Pep Guardiola by beating the reigning European champions in the German Super Cup. But Guardiola would go on to win the Bundesliga title.

Klopp started the 2014-15 season with a 2-0 home loss to Bayer Leverkusen. Dortmund continued to struggle in the first half of the Bundesliga season, going into the winter break in 17th position with only four league wins.

The team were eliminated from the Champions League in the Round of 16, losing to Juventus 5-1 on aggregate. Despite a successful second half of the season, Klopp announced that he would leave after seven years at the club to take a sabbatical. Borussia Dortmund would end the season in seventh place, earning them a spot in the Europa League.

In October 2015, Klopp returned to management and succeeded Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager.

Strengths: Klopp is one of the best motivators in football. He has said himself that he can develop a player to the top level of the game, making him a great developer of players including Gotze, Kagawa, Gundogan, Hummels, Lewandowski. 

Weaknesses: His Dortmund side struggled to score goals when teams sat back to defend, despite the likes of Mario Gotze, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan and many more creative players in his side. 

Career High: Winning the Bundesliga in two consecutive seasons; 2010-11, 2011-12

Career Low: Relegation from the Bundesliga with Mainz in the 2006-07 season. 

Tactics: Klopp's teams have been well known to play at a high speed and high tempo, playing a very aggressive defensive game with players pressuring their opponents to win the ball and play up the pitch.

Quotes: "He's very good tactically and he gives players belief. You see his emotion on the touchline." - Martin Skrtel, giving praise to Klopp in November 2015. 

Trivia: Jurgen Klopp adopted to play as both a defender and a striker in his playing career at Mainz. 

Words: Mark Lomas and Danny Preston