This season, “Building Castles in the Air” is an idea that could resonate with many Liverpool fans.
Winning all four trophies seemed to be a pipe dream that was barely worth daydreaming.
For Liverpool to win the Premier League, they now need City to fail in their last two games. That would seem unlikely given that City have won their previous two games 5-0 and 5-1.
Prior to his arrival at Liverpool, the German coached Borussia Dortmund for seven seasons, leading the club to the Bundesliga title in 2011 and the league and cup double in 2012. Under Klopp, Dortmund also reached a Champions League final. .
“Jürgen is a special person,” Dortmund captain Marco Reus told CNN senior sports analyst Darren Lewis. “I remember when I moved to Dortmund and had my first conversation with him. When he walks into the room, there’s just something in the air.”
“He’s charismatic, he’s got a lot of energy and he’s just a good guy to talk to privately about other things, not just football.”
Reus’s association with Klopp dates back to 2012, when Klopp, the then Dortmund manager, convinced him to return to the club where he had been a youth player.
In his first season under Klopp following his move from Borussia Mönchengladbach, Reus contributed 19 goals and 16 assists in 49 appearances as Dortmund reached the Champions League final where they lost 2-1 to rivals Bayern Munich.
“He is definitely one of the best coaches in the world because otherwise you don’t stay on top for that long,” says Reus. “I hope for him that he can do it (quadruple) this year and I would not put it further”.
‘Energy that brings every day’
When Klopp joined Dortmund in 2008, the club had just experienced their worst season in 20 years, finishing 13th in the Bundesliga.
By intelligently recruiting – players like Robert Lewandowski and Jakub Błaszczykowski were hired at a relatively low price – and implementing his now familiar ‘back pressure’ tactic – whereby the team immediately seeks to regain possession after losing – Klopp has built a title – winning team in three years.
“Before he arrived, things didn’t look so rosy here and he took the club to another level,” Reus recalls.
“Obviously, this had a lot to do with him and also with the team at the time.”
“You cannot put it into words because it is not just a word. It is still, I would say, this energy, the will to suffer every day and make the most of it.”
“And of course he had a lot of experience in the last few years when he was here and then also in his early years at Liverpool which helped him a lot.”
Similarly, at Liverpool, the success the team now enjoys did not materialize immediately.
Klopp’s positions took four years to win the Champions League and another year to win the Premier League title.
“He has done a great job both here and in Liverpool for years,” says Reus. “How he built the team, how he built the club, both here and in Liverpool, is immense. That energy that he brings every day, I think you can only take his hat off.”
On Saturday, Liverpool will face Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley and then Real Madrid in the Champions League final on 28 May in Paris.
For the moment the pipe dream – the idea of ’building castles in the air’ – is still achievable.