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Dublin: -1°C Friday 16 April 2021

Klopp almost became Bayern coach, says club president Hoeness

The Liverpool manager was identified as a target for the club in 2008 following his successful spell at Mainz.

BAYERN MUNICH PRESIDENT Uli Hoeness has spoken of his respect for Jurgen Klopp, revealing the Liverpool manager almost took over at the Bundesliga giants in 2008.

The Premier League side will host Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie Tuesday evening.

But Hoeness said things could have been different, with Klopp an option for Bayern 11 years ago, when they instead opted for Jurgen Klinsmann as the Reds boss left Mainz for Borussia Dortmund.

“Personally, I have a high opinion of Jurgen Klopp,” he told reporters.

Many years ago we agreed on a collaboration together, but we ended up signing Jurgen Klinsmann instead.

“There I showed I respect him and his work a lot. It’s going to be a tough task for both sides. I hope we’ll come out on top.”

Klopp went on to win two Bundesliga titles with Dortmund before heading to Anfield in October 2015.

The German was identified by Hoeness due to his achievements at Mainz. The 51-year-old helped secure promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in the club’s history in 2004.

Here he developed his patented pressing techniques, which saw them finish 11th in their maiden season in the top flight the following year.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Quarter Final - Second Leg - Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid - Signal Iduna Park Jurgen Klopp during his time as Borussia Dortmund manager in 2014 - 18 months before joining Liverpool. Source: EMPICS Sport

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His old club are on course to beat his one-time suitors to the title this season after Bayern’s poor start allowed Dortmund to surge to the top of the table, where they now lead the defending champions by five points.

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Klopp’s Liverpool are also battling for league honours, sitting second in the Premier League on goal difference with a game in hand on Manchester City, who are top. 

As such, the upcoming Champions League clash between the two may well be seen as an unwelcome distraction from both sides’ title tilts, particularly given the selection headache in both camps.

Klopp has just one senior centre-half fit and available in the form of Joel Matip, as Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez are injured, while star defender Virgil van Dijk is suspended.

Bayern do not have a fully-fit complement either, with regular starters Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben both sidelined with injury, with Thomas Muller suspended, while Corentin Tolisso remains a long-term absentee.

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey break down Ireland’s dogged win against Scotland in Murrayfield, and look at the room for improvement, in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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