New Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described himself as ‘The Normal One’ as he faced the media for the first time on Friday following his appointment as successor to recently-sacked Brendan Rodgers.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho famously described himself as ‘a special one’ in his first press conference in English football in 2004, earning him the nickname ‘The Special One’. But Klopp, 48, told a packed room of journalists at Anfield: “I don’t want to describe myself. I’m a totally normal guy. I’m the Normal One.”
The former Borussia Dortmund head coach was appointed on Thursday on a three-year contract following the dismissal of Rodgers, who was sacked last Sunday after three and a half years at the club. “I am a normal guy from the Black Forest. I don’t compare myself with genius managers in this club’s history,”added Klopp, who led Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final appearance.
“It’s cool that you’re looking for that, but it’s not my part to think about that. I don’t think any manager starts by saying that they want to be a legend.
“I was a very, very average player. I was at a special club in Germany with Mainz 05 and then had a great opportunity to take Dortmund for seven years. Now I’m here and I hope to enjoy my work.”
In an interview with the club’s in-house television channel, LFC TV, Klopp described the job as “the biggest challenge ... in the world of football”.
His first game at the helm will be a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on October 17. Liverpool won the last of their 18 league titles in 1990 under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish. Rodgers led them to a second-place finish in 2014, but they finished sixth last season and are currently in 10th place in the table with 12 points from eight games.
While Klopp called for patience, he has set himself the objective of winning a league title by 2019.
“It’s been crazy here,” he said. “But it’s not so important what people think when you come in. It’s important what people think when you leave. So please give us time.
“This could be a very special day, if you are patient. When I sit here in four years, I think we will win one title.”