Tue 13 September 2022 | 13:56

Alonso praises Klopp as 'special' despite Liverpool's difficulties

Despite Liverpool's slow start to the season, former midfielder Xabi Alonso has no doubts about manager Jurgen Klopp's abilities.

Xabi Alonso

has called

Jurgen Klopp

"special" and lauded the "treasure" the German coach has produced on Merseyside.


have had a sluggish start to the 2022-23 season, winning just two of their first six Premier League games (D3, L1) before losing 4-1 to Napoli in their Champions League group stage opener in Italy last week.

Since arriving at Anfield in 2015, the former

Borussia Dortmund

head coach has presided over a period of success, winning the Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, EFL Cup, and FA Cup. Alonso, who played for the Reds from 2004 to 2009, stated in an interview with the club's website that he always believed Klopp would be successful at Liverpool:

"I loved my games against his Dortmund when I was in [Real] Madrid and Bayern [Munich]. You could see that he was special. I remember when he signed for Liverpool, straight away I had the feeling that he was the man. We were playing Liverpool-Mainz at Mainz [pre-season friendly in 2006] and in the programme he mentioned that his favourite stadium was Anfield. That was on my mind.

"When he signed for Liverpool, I [thought], 'He's always had that in his mind and he's the right man for the job.' After that, what he's done, it's a treasure what we have in Liverpool, what Jurgen built and the inspiration for the players, for the club, for the fans, for everyone."

After playing for Real Madrid and Bayern, Alonso stopped playing and started coaching. He worked with Madrid's youth team before taking over as head coach of the B team at Real Sociedad, another former club. He quit at the end of the last season and is now getting ready for the "next thing."

"I want to visit, to keep learning and to keep being updated about the things that are being done," he stated. "Use the time, not just to sit on the chair and do nothing. No, no, I want to use this time for myself to prepare better for the next thing. I don't know but I will have to choose what's best for me [Coaching is] demanding but very rewarding as well. It's another role but my role was to help young players at Sociedad's academy."

They did really well, we [were] promoted to the second division in Spain – it was a great achievement. I have enjoyed it. You play games in another way. It takes longer, the preparation, but you feel really into the game.  As Johan Cruyff said, the best thing about football is playing football, and the second one is coaching football."

The former


midfielder also talked about

Thiago Alcantara

, a fellow Spaniard who used to play for Bayern and joined Liverpool in 2020. Thiago could make just his second start of the season on Tuesday when Liverpool plays Ajax in the

Champions League

. He has fully recovered from a hamstring injury he got on the first day of the season at Fulham, where the game ended in a tie.

"You could see that he's a different player," Alonso stated. "He's a different talent because he's competitive but at the same time he has those magic Brazilian actions that are not that European.

"He's competitive but he can do different things. He was a great player at Bayern and he continues being consistent and being a great player at Liverpool. We talked a lot [in 2020, prior to his move] because he was thinking about the option. I said, 'Thiago, you love football, you're in a great club, you're in Bayern and you've achieved great things, but Liverpool is pure football and you're going to enjoy it as much as you have done. If you feel it's the right moment for a new chapter, you won't get better places than Liverpool'."

source: SportMob

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