EPL

Klopp: I'm still the normal one

By Sports Desk July 04, 2020

Jurgen Klopp insisted he was "still the normal one" despite delivering a long-awaited league title for Liverpool.

Liverpool have secured their first league title since 1990 after a dominant Premier League campaign.

After taking the helm at Anfield in October 2015, Klopp labelled himself 'the normal one' – and the Liverpool manager said that had not changed.

"I am still the normal one. I. Am. Not. Special," he told the Mirror.

"I have a few skills and, luckily, they are needed in football, which is something I really love, but that's all. I am not special. I am not fishing for compliments.

"I think I am a good guy, I think I am a nice guy. That sounds boring but it is the truth."

Klopp has won the Premier League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup since taking charge of Liverpool.

But the 53-year-old has no plans to extend his managerial career for too long, having coached against Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson – who turns 73 next month – in June.

"I don't see me doing that at that age. When I became a manager, I thought … 'Right, now 25 power years start," Klopp said.

"I was seven and a half years at Mainz, seven at Dortmund and in 2024 it will be 23 and half.

"I have no plans beyond that."

Related items

  • De Ligt facing three months out after Juventus defender undergoes shoulder surgery De Ligt facing three months out after Juventus defender undergoes shoulder surgery

    Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is facing three months out after undergoing shoulder surgery.

    The Netherlands centre-back has had persistent problems with his right shoulder after suffering a dislocation last year.

    Juve confirmed on Wednesday that the 21-year-old had stabilisation surgery in Rome and the operation was "a complete success".

    He is not likely to be fully fit to return until November.

    There is not yet an official start date for the 2020-21 Serie A season but the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has previously stated it hopes the campaign can begin on September 1.

    De Ligt made 39 appearances in all competitions in his first season for Juve since joining from Ajax for an initial €75million fee last year.

    Juve won the Scudetto for the ninth time in a row but were beaten by Napoli on penalties in the Coppa Italia final and were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage by Lyon.

    Head coach Maurizio Sarri was sacked the day after that European exit and replaced by Under-23s boss and former midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

  • Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Lichtsteiner retires from football Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Lichtsteiner retires from football

    Former Juventus and Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has retired from football.

    The 36-year-old had planned to play for Switzerland at the Euro 2020 finals before calling time on his career, but with the coronavirus pandemic forcing the tournament to be postponed to 2021, he has chosen not to continue playing for another year.

    Lichtsteiner had spent the 2019-20 season with Augsburg, making 20 appearances in the Bundesliga as Heiko Herrlich's side finished 15th.

    "The plan would have been to retire after the European Championship in 2020," Lichtsteiner, who was Switzerland captain, said in an interview published by the Swiss Football Association.

    "After UEFA's decision to postpone the European Championship to 2021, it became clear to me that the time had come and I didn't want to add another year.

    "The length of a footballer's career is limited. I was allowed to play at a high level until I was 36. Now, it's time to take a new path. It was a cool time that I really enjoyed."

    Lichtsteiner earned 108 senior caps for Switzerland and competed at five major tournaments: Euro 2008, co-hosted by Switzerland and Austria, the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup, at which he was captain under Vladimir Petkovic.

    "Every tournament was an incredible event," he said. "I always felt a tingling feeling. It was a shame we narrowly missed out on the quarter-finals in the last three tournaments, which were of a high level.

    "If you're able to play more than 100 international matches, that makes you proud. Every single game was an honour. And each one felt like it was the first, in terms of nervousness!"

    Lichtsteiner's most successful spell came in his seven years with Juventus, where he won seven Serie A titles in a row, lifted the Coppa Italia four times and twice reached the Champions League final.

    "We were able to build a generation of winners and won 14 trophies in seven years. That was definitely the most formative and successful phase of my career. The downside were those two lost Champions League finals," he said.

    Lichtsteiner, who spent 2018-19 with Arsenal, is now planning for a career in coaching but is also considering a future "in the economic sector".

    "I am open and currently being inspired by various things," he said.

  • Valencia captain Parejo joins rivals Villarreal Valencia captain Parejo joins rivals Villarreal

    Dani Parejo has joined Villarreal on a four-year contract, leaving rivals Valencia where he was captain.

    The transfer became the second between the two clubs to go through on Wednesday, with Parejo following Francis Coquelin to El Madrigal - reportedly for a cut-price combined fee of just €13million.

    Valencia have already sold Ferran Torres to Manchester City in recent weeks and pressure appears to be building on owner Peter Lim.

    Club great Santiago Canizares questioned "the sale of your two best midfielders", with new head coach Javi Gracia yet to take charge of a competitive fixture.

    Parejo played 383 times for Valencia since signing from Getafe in 2011 and had spoken of wanting to retire at the club despite reports of his looming departure.

    However, Torres, following his move to City, said Parejo "wasn't a good captain with me".

    "He's a great player but I never had a relationship with him," winger Torres said of the 31-year-old.

    Valencia released a short statement as Parejo's departure was confirmed, thanking the player for "all his effort and commitment", echoing the response to Coquelin's move.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.