Jurgen Klopp has revealed he considered ignoring the phone call that led to him joining Liverpool.
The manager who has led Liverpool to Champions League and Premier League title glory since moving to Anfield was appointed by the Reds on October 8, 2015.
On the fifth anniversary of taking the job, Klopp has recalled how he was having a restful break in Lisbon when a call came in from his agent.
But because he was on a family holiday with wife Ulla and their two children, Klopp was unsure whether he should interrupt that break to talk business.
Yet the German will always be glad he took that call from agent Marc Kosicke, because it was the first step towards being confirmed as Liverpool’s next boss.
Klopp told the cub’s website: “I cannot forget the moment when I got the call from my agent that Liverpool were interested.
“I was completely in a holiday mood. We were in Portugal, in Lisbon, with the family – both boys with us.
“Ulla and I were sitting in an outside coffee bar. Actually, I didn’t pick up a lot of phone calls in that time – it was like, ‘Come on, don’t bother me’.
“But then I saw him and I had a feeling it could be something interesting, so I take the phone and he tells me and I felt the excitement inside.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 8, 2020
“But because of all the things I said before to my family, I couldn’t immediately say, ‘Yes, let’s do it’.
“I had to ask, ‘What’s your opinion?’.
“I still remember both boys were like, ‘Yes!’.
“Then we looked at Ulla and she looked at all three of us [like], ‘Oh, it looks like the holiday is over’.
“It was just a really nice moment to have it together.”
Klopp and Liverpool have proven the perfect combination, with the former Borussia Dortmund boss ending the Reds’ 30-year wait for a domestic league championship last season.
Liverpool have had great managers in the past, but Klopp is beginning to rival the likes of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish in the affections of many.
His winning percentage of 60.3 per cent outstrips the records of Paisley (57.4 per cent) and Dalglish (58.3 per cent), who were previously the most successful in that aspect of managers who have led Liverpool in at least 50 matches.
The achievements of his team have been remarkable, with an 18-match winning streak, a 44-game unbeaten run and 24 consecutive home wins in the Premier League among their feats.
Only Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola has a higher points-per-game record that Klopp in the history of the Premier League, with the Spaniard’s 2.33 edging out Klopp (2.17).
It all comes back to that phone call in Lisbon, and Klopp’s hunch it was one he should not let ring out.
“There was nothing decided in that moment, it was not that I spoke to anybody else,” Klopp said.
Soon, though, he would be meeting Liverpool’s owners in the United States, holding talks with Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon about taking on the top job.
“We flew home and Mike Gordon called me two days later or one day later, and then I flew over to New York,” Klopp said.
“But this very moment when I got aware of the interest of Liverpool was already pretty special and from that moment on it got better and better.”