Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said he feels ‘blessed’ as he prepares for the 1,000th game of his managerial career when the Reds host Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
Klopp, who was first handed the reins at Mainz when he retired as a player there in 2001, also admitted he has been ‘really lucky’ with how the last 22 years have transpired.
“I have done the job I love for the clubs I love. I am blessed, 100 per cent. That’s what I feel,” he said.
Klopp moved on from Mainz to Borussia Dortmund in 2008, playing a major part in rebuilding a club that had been on the brink of bankruptcy only three years before.
Dortmund won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 – still the last team other than Bayern Munich to be crowned German champions – the latter also part of a domestic double, as well as reaching the Champions League final in 2013.
Klopp left Dortmund at the end of the 2014/15 season, intending to take a break from football. But he accepted the call from Liverpool only a few months later, delivering the club’s first league title for 30 years in 2020, as well as winning the Champions League - plus two other finals – and domestic cups.
Of his 999 games to date, 410 have been at Liverpool, with 319 at Dortmund and 270 at Mainz.
“I’ve never thought about these kinds of numbers,” Klopp went on to admit. “I never thought I would be allowed to do it [manage] for that long. But somehow, it went really quickly. You have to work through 22 years and then you can somehow arrive there.
“This week people told me that it [the 1,000th game] will happen. It keeps coming up, then [I thought about] the start at Mainz, the start at Dortmund, the start here… When you come in, you never know how it will go and I was really lucky with all the things that happened.
“It is a crazy number, honesty, 1,000. The beard is now really grey! It was not the case when I arrived [at Liverpool]. I’m not sure if that is because of the age or because of Liverpool!
“[1,000 games] is a massive thing. I have been at three fantastic clubs, which have given me the opportunity to do the job. That is what is going through my mind.”
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