Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is seen as a very jovial and laid back individual to many involved in football – but Mario Gotze has revealed there is a ‘very serious’ side to the German.
Gotze won two Bundesliga titles under Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before leaving to join Bayern Munich in 2013.
The Borussia Dortmund attacker, who returned to the club in 2016, lauded the 51-year-old’s man-management skills, but says he could be ‘intimidating’ at times when he was a youngster.
“There’s a very serious side to Jurgen,” he told The Players Tribune.
“When I was 17 or 18, and not giving 100 per cent in training, he could be so intimidating.
“He used to come running over and get right up in my face and start shouting at me.
“I can’t really translate from German perfectly, but you know how he talks, with his teeth grinding.
“Something like: ‘You have to have more passion! You have to give everything! ****! Come on!!!’”
Gotze, though, is eternally grateful for the faith Klopp showed in him – especially at such a tender age.
Now 26, Gotze underlined one incredibly unique characteristic that Klopp possesses which is fairly uncommon among football managers – his sense of humour.
“It’s funny to see him now with Liverpool because he’s such a natural guy in front of the media,” he added.
“He’s so authentic and he says whatever he wants. But I think most people just see the version of him standing on the touchline.
“Then after training, he would be completely calm again, and he’d take you aside and say, ‘Mario, how are you? Let’s talk about life. What’s happening?’
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“He knew how to handle me. He was an outstanding coach, but his personality was the most important thing for me as a young player.”
He continued: “He was such a funny and positive influence on everyone around him.
“He was my first manager, and he was the one who believed in me and gave me the chance to debut at 17 years old.
“I have to thank him, because he gave me my start, and we achieved some great things together at Dortmund in those years.”
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