Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has been named the best manager in the world by football magazine Kicker, which is based in his homeland.
Klopp came ahead of Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola, who guided City to the Premier League title in record fashion. The Spanish coach got 31.1% of the votes, with Klopp collecting 35.7%. 248 players from each of the 18 Bundesliga clubs were surveyed.
Guardiola was full of praise for Klopp, a man who he has now been up against in both Germany, when Klopp was manager of Borussia Dortmund, and England, where Liverpool and Manchester City are seen by many as the leading title contenders for next season.
Klopp, of course, masterminded three wins over Guardiola’s Manchester City last season, including a memorable 4-3 Anfield win in the Premier League and a 5-1 aggregate victory in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Guardiola said: “I learnt a lot in Germany, the first time I played his team. I was new and it was ‘wow’ – what a good lesson. He creates teams to attack the back four.”
Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes, who is leaving the club after winning the Bundesliga in his second spell as coach, and Zinedine Zidane, who resigned from Real Madrid on Thursday afternoon after winning his third consecutive Champions League trophy last week against Liverpool, both got 10.9% of the vote.
Bayern were league champions but went out of the Champions League in the semi-finals and suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB-Pokal, while Real Madrid had a poor league campaign in which they finished 17 points behind champions Barcelona.
Despite not winning a trophy during his time at Liverpool to date, the accolade shows how far the Reds have come under Klopp's guidance.
That upward trajectory is set to continue, with Fabinho already signed up from AS Monaco as a replacement for Emre Can and Nabil Fekir next in Liverpool's sights, but Klopp will hope that the next award that he receives is a team trophy rather than an individual one.