Most teams in the world do not have the luxury of unlimited funds to buy any player they want like Barcelona, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City or Real Madrid do. Because of the gargantuan gaps between the haves and have-nots, certain teams are forced to play a historically unattractive way to be able to still compete for trophies. Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund are changing the way pundits and fans look at pragmatic soccer and they’re each led by phenomenal managers.
Jurgen Klopp started his professional playing career as a striker but he eventually switched to become a defender and there may lie the beginning of his philosophy on the game. When Borussia Dortmund were facing Arsenal in the Champions League last year, Klopp at a press conference described the difference between how his team and the Gunners play using a brilliant analogy.
“It’s like an orchestra, but it’s a silent song, yeah? And I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud! I want to have this: ‘Booooom!'”
The 47-year-old then went into further detail to make sure everyone fully understood what he meant he enjoyed heavy metal more.
“If Barcelona’s team of the last four years were the first one that I saw play when I was four years of age — with their serenity, winning 5-0, 6-0 — I would have played tennis. Sorry, that is not enough for me. What I love is that there are some things you can do in football to allow each team to win most of the matches. It is not serenity football — it is fighting football. That is what I like. What we call in German ‘English [football]’: rainy day, heavy pitch, everybody is dirty in the face and they go home and can’t play football for the next four weeks. This is Borussia,” said Klopp.
The Stuttgart native’s ideas have worked well as he’s been a two-time Bundesliga champion, a DFB-Pokal cup winner, a runner-up in the 2013 Champions League final and a two-time recipient of German Football Manager of the Year. The former FSV Mainz 05 player and manager teaches a physical brand of soccer that relies on pressing, athleticism, teamwork and counterattacking to produce goals. Klopp claims to also enjoy attractive, attacking soccer as long as his team still runs six miles more than the other team. His players and club fans adore him and the 2013 DFL-Supercup winner is an eccentric character that enjoys what he does with the enthusiasm of a teenager that just got a PlayStation 4 and a new Ferrari for his birthday. How many gaffers around the world have multiple highlight reels of their own celebrations?
His squad’s biggest enemy for the Bundesliga crown, Bayern Munich, took his talisman, Robert Lewandowski, on a free transfer a year after acquiring Mario Gotze. It doesn’t deter Klopp’s process as he keeps signing players that he’ll make better and people will wonder where they came from and why other teams weren’t fighting to sign them. Bayern may be the heavy favorites to win the league again this upcoming season but Klopp will have his team ready to shock the world.