Ilkay Gundogan recalls ‘intense’ argument with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund

Coach ‘snapped’ during a row with his fellow German during the pair’s time at BVB, Gundogan has said

Alex Pattle
Tuesday 27 April 2021 15:36
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Jurgen Klopp with Ilkay Gundogan in 2015
Jurgen Klopp with Ilkay Gundogan in 2015

Ilkay Gundogan has recalled an argument he had with Jurgen Klopp while the pair were working together at Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool coach Klopp joined the Reds in October 2015 after leaving Dortmund earlier in the year, while Gundogan left BVB for Manchester City in summer 2016.

Germany international Gundogan played under Klopp for four years at Dortmund after his compatriot signed him in 2011, and the midfielder has now spoken about a row the pair had during that time.

“I once managed to make Jurgen Klopp angry. Like, really angry,” Gundoga told the Players’ 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.

“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.”

The situation was quickly resolved, however, Gundogan explained.

“About half an hour later, I put my boots on and walked on to the pitch. Jurgen came up next to me.

“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.”

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