Klopp not yet done with Liverpool, says Hitzfeld

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-04 16:19:57|Editor: Xiaoxia
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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Two-time UEFA Champions League-winning coach Ottmar Hitzfeld doesn't expect Jurgen Klopp to leave Liverpool FC in the near future.

"I think he is not yet done with the Reds," the 70-year-old told Xinhua in a recent interview.

While German media have touted 2019 Champions League winner Klopp as a successor for German national coach and 2014 World Cup winner Joachim Loew, multiple Bundesliga winner Hitzfeld is convinced that Klopp is set to extend his contract with Liverpool.

Klopp joined the Reds in 2015, and any extension of his current contract, which still has three years to run, is likely to be accompanied by a significant pay rise.

"He deserves to be praised for his achievements," the former Swiss national coach commented, adding that Klopp is "the right man in the right place at present."

In Germany, all doors seem open for the Liverpool manager, as Bayern legend Franz Beckenbauer said he would love to see him as Bayern coach soon.

Why should the Stuttgart-born coach leave after his first significant continental success? "He has a rather young team with great potential, as their average age is around 26.5 years. There is more to come, I guess," Hitzfeld emphasized.

The former striker wouldn't be surprised if Liverpool can create a similar success to Real Madrid, when the Spaniards won the Champions League three times in a row between 2016 and 2018.

"Liverpool can do something similar to Real. Winning the 2019 final is confirmation of the side's brilliant season," Hitzfeld said, adding "it was important for Jurgen to win this time," after the coach had lost his six previous cup finals.

The former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich coach called the debate about Klopp's final record "not fair" as "it is a great achievement to have reached all of these finals, but in the end, people will say he lost them." He admitted to being impressed by Klopp's coolness around that topic.

"You don't get much respect when you lose a final. He seems to have carried that load quite easily. He never gave up and invested as much emotion as a coach possibly can. That is to be admired."

Winning European football's most important club competition makes life for coaches easier, says Hitzfeld, who in 1997 was the first German coach to win the modern-day Champions League when his Dortmund side beat Juventus 3-1.

"You have a longer credit line as a coach. It is like a master's degree," said Hitzfeld, whose success attracted the attention of Real Madrid and several English clubs, before he ultimately joined Bayern with whom he would win the Champions League again in 2001.