Former Borussia Dortmund physio Frank Zollner has revealed that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp could be pretty crazy at times as he lurched between being a great guy and an egocentric guy when the two worked together at Dortmund.
Jurgen Klopp had a nice time at the Signal Iduna Park outfit before things went south as he won the Bundesliga twice and reached the final of the UEFA Champions League in 2013. He established himself as one of the finest managers in the game although he was also known for his fiery reactions during and after games.
Zollner worked closely with Klopp at Dortmund and although he has respect for the 52-year-old, he admitted that the current Liverpool manager was not always easy-going as a colleague.
‘He’s a special guy,’ Zollner told Goal and SPOX. ‘There were so many days when you’d think: “Great guy!”, but sometimes you’d think:
“What an egocentric!”. ‘One time, [former Dortmund player] Jakub Blaszczykowski called me when he was coming back from the [Polish] national team. He said he couldn’t train because of a muscle injury but would still come to the team meeting.
‘Before the meeting, I went to Klopp with Kuba (Blaszczykowski) and told him what was going on. He then went pretty crazy, probably because he had only just learned about Kuba’s injury at that moment.
‘Zeljko Buvac (Klopp’s assistant at the time) would often appear at such moments and say: “Kloppo, smoke a cigarette now and calm down!”. He was one of the best assistant coaches I’ve ever worked under.
‘But Kloppo had the balls to apologise when the way he treated someone was too much.’
Zollner also revealed that working under Klopp involved long hours and this seriously affected his family life. He left the club in 2009 and now works at Vfl Bochum after the pressure at home became unbearable.
‘From about 2008 I finally realised that something had to change. Once I came home and met my crying daughter. Her boyfriend had apparently split up with her – and I didn’t even know she had one!’ Zollner continued.
‘[It was also because of] the episodes such as those mentioned under Kloppo, who would sometimes call spontaneous meetings in the evening so that the end of the working day was delayed and it was no longer possible to contact the family in advance to let them know.
‘At some point the children hardly wanted to talk to me anymore. I said: “now it’s over”.