The former Dortmund midfielder recalls the blazing row he had with Jurgen Klopp when he refused to sit out a training session due to a hamstring issue.
in the summer of 2011 and quickly became a starter in
’s team. The young midfielder was a key player for the Schwarzgelben as they challengedBayern Munich
’s dominance during Klopp’s era. Gundogan eventually left Dortmund forManchester City
in 2016, but he still remembers his incident with Klopp over his potential hamstring injury.
"I once managed to make Jurgen Klopp angry. Like, really angry,”
the Germany international told thePlayers’ Tribune
“It was in my second season at Dortmund. We were trailing in the Bundesliga, but we had a shot at the Champions League. The staff had this rule that if you felt bad before a training session, you had to report it to the team doctor. That way we would avoid injuries, and Jurgen would know that you might not be able to train.
"So one morning I woke up and felt my hamstring a bit. Did I have a muscle problem, or was I just tired? I couldn’t tell. I probably should have texted the doctor. But I thought, 'It’s probably gonna be alright'.
"Like always, I came to the training ground an hour before the session started. And just to be sure, I asked the doctor to take a look at my hamstring."
Despite Gundogan’s confidence about his leg’s health, the team’s doctor was adamant that Klopp needed to be informed.
"Jurgen came in and he was not happy. I was trying to find a way out of it, even though I knew I was wrong. Jurgen kept saying that we couldn’t take any risks. I kept saying that I could train.
"And then he snapped. You know when he gets these intense eyes and grits his teeth?
"He gave me that look and shouted, 'DO WHATEVER THE F*** YOU WANT TO DO!' Then he slammed the door behind him."
Klopp’s reaction upon Gundogan’s return to the training ground taught him a lesson about the importance of honest communication.
"About half an hour later, I put my boots on and walked on to the pitch. Jurgen came up next to me,”
the 30-year-old added.
“I was expecting a lecture, but he put his arm around me.
"He said, 'My friend, do you know why I was so angry? I just care about you. And I don’t want you to get injured.' Then he gave me a big hug.
"I was shocked. We had had this fight, and now he was talking to me the way a father might talk to his son.
"Jurgen taught me a lesson that day: Always try to be honest. Both with others and yourself."