Jurgen Klopp opens up on Bayern Munich job offer and Liverpool's FA Cup final plans
“I could have gone to Bayern a few times, I could have won more titles in my life, pretty sure I would say – I didn't do it,” he says with a huge smile, in the full knowledge of the reaction those words would elicit.
He’s not boasting, rather the opposite. Klopp has made history with his remarkable side the first in English football to play every game possible in the pursuit of a quadruple, and in doing so has created arguably the greatest Liverpool team ever.
Yet he is guaranteed only the Carabao Cup. Manchester City are overwhelming favourites to win the Premier League. The mighty Real Madrid await in the Champions League final. And in the Wembley final this Saturday, it is the current European Champions Chelsea who will again provide the most searching, demanding of opponents, a side who took them to the limit in the EFL Cup.
All three are richer than Liverpool, and that serves to emphasise the ruthless, financial elitism of modern football, compared to times past. The avalanche of trophies his Anfield predecessors won is virtually impossible, because of that.
Yet Klopp continues with his story to emphasise something more…a feeling that creating something historic means more, without the spending power of his rivals.
“I had a contract here and I never went to Bayern,” he explains, suggesting another recent approach. “That's completely fine. The world is not full of winners, the world is full of triers hopefully. And I try and sometimes I win with some other people together. I am happy with that.”
What more can Klopp have done? His side have made history by becoming the first English team to take a quadruple bid right to the end of the season, to play every game it is possible to play in pursuit of that impossible dream.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Where will Klopp's next job be after Liverpool? Let us know in the comments section
But their rivals are on an equal level, with greater spending. At Wembley, Chelsea will be fresher because their programme has not been so intense. Klopp though, has a simple question, to ask what he could do to win more trophies.
“Which club should I go to to have a different situation? Tell me. The only thing I could do is ask Pep if he is sick of all that winning and I take over at City!” he added with a smile. “Is that the idea? That wouldn't work, I don't want to do it. This club went through incredibly tough periods and always hit back, and if people can't appreciate the time we are in or the team they have I would really feel for them because it's fantastic what these boys do.”
Even if they fall short in the Premier League, even if Klopp wins only that 2019-20 title in England, he still stands on the verge of greatness, with a remarkable cup treble still very much possible. No side has ever achieved it. Is that enough to cement greatness when City have their hands on a fourth title in five years?Klopp doesn’t care.
“If we are all only happy when winning when your race finishes what life would that be? When I say 'Enjoy the journey' I mean it. Enjoy the journey as there have been so many great moments already.
“If we stop now it's not great then we didn't win the FA Cup final and didn't win the Champions League final and came second in the Premier League. Forget that and just say 'Wow, that was a ride'. We only cause ourselves problems as human beings - 'Don't come home without a quadruple', for example - you will never be happy. If that is the only way to satisfy you then I can’t help you.”