Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp thinks the government made mistakes with the coronavirus
Jurgen Klopp has become the masked crusader of football as he prepares to complete the job of capturing Liverpool‘s first title in 30 years. Victory in the Merseyside derby away to Everton tomorrow evening will leave Klopp’s powerhouse team needing just one more win to lift the Premier League trophy — a happy reality delayed for three long months by the pandemic.
The charismatic Liverpool manager also had a wider perspective as he looked ahead to the game, and became another major figure in the football world to deliver criticism of the Government led by Boris Johnson.
It’s now just a matter of when Liverpool are champions following the resumption of Premier League matches.
But had Klopp ever been worried that a season declared “null and void” might prevent his team’s glory — that the Government’s lack of early action in the fight against Covid-19 might cost his club the title on the pitch?
“I was not worried for one second that the Government could cost us the title because I was worried about a lot of people and the numbers who were dying,” was reply of the Liverpool boss.
“But, honestly, I am a sportsperson and I don’t want to say what I really think about the situation because it would open a Pandora’s box.”
He thought for a moment, and then he opened it anyway with a typically strident Klopp monologue that came from the heart as well as the head — charging in like a sporting Zorro.
It brooks no interruption.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is preparing to take on Everton
“I didn’t vote for this Government — that’s my excuse,” said Klopp. “This Government was the choice of other people.
“The problem I had was that I got the news from England and the news from Germany. I have not idea of what it was like in Italy or France, but I do know exactly how it is here in England and in Germany.
“If aliens looked at us both from the outside, they would think we came from two different planets.
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“From a personal point of view I don’t understand why we started wearing face masks in closed areas like shops on June 15 when all other countries were doing it five or six weeks ago.
“You can argue about whether it makes sense to wear them, but all countries who started wearing face masks earlier have better and smaller casualty numbers than here in England. That’s the truth.
“If you want to enter a shop in Germany, but don’t wear a face mask, then you aren’t allowed in. With a face mask you can go in all the shops you want. You can go to the hairdresser, wherever.
“They wear a face mask, you wear a face mask, and sometimes the people in the shop will wear even more protection like a screen.
Jurgen Klopp thinks Boris Johnson made mistakes in fighting the coronavirus
“When I go to the petrol station here in England I am the only one wearing a face mask, and I’m the only one with gloves — and I feel like an alien.
“I will not stop doing that until someone tells me it’s over.
“Inside the club we are safe. We are tested twice a week and it is a safe environment. But when we step outside we are all in the same situation.
“In Germany, my family is there, I know that they live the kind of normal life that we cannot imagine here.
“Restaurants are working as normal. You go in, you sit at your table with your family and friends, but you wear a face mask. You still have a wonderful night.
“That’s how it is. It doesn’t sound so difficult to me. When I see the numbers here in England and then in Germany, I think . . .
“Look, it’s not perfect in Germany; people have died and people have been ill. But in terms of living your life it is completely different.”
The passion and intelligence of Klopp shines vividly whatever subject fills his mind — whether its football, life or politics. Listen to him, and it’s no wonder his players are endlessly inspired out on the pitch.
He is delighted the game is back, for the pure thrill of the action, the need to complete the full season, and to protect the future of sport in general.
“There were moments when ‘null and void’ came up and I thought, ‘Wow’,” said Klopp.
“That would have been really hard for me to take. I always thought we had to finish the season. I didn’t know when, but I saw that other people felt the same as me — that for 500 million reasons we had to finish this.
“None of those reasons are selfish. All of them were because of football and because of the circumstances we were in.
“There are lots of people in the same situation. Can you imagine if we stopped football and cricket and rugby tomorrow? Think of all the jobs that would be in danger.”
It is the masked crusader speaking, the sporting Zorro back at work, blazing with energy once more.
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