Jürgen Klopp: Training in a Sweden's lake
Jürgen Klopp prepares his team, Borussia Dortmund, for the grand final of Champions League this Saturday against Bayern. The 45 years old technician, impressed the fans across Europe with his work in Dortmund in recent years. However, beyond his training virtues, he is also a very special man. The surprise he reserved for his players when he was in Mainz, clearly demonstrates his character.
Jürgen Klopp made his professional career in Mainz, where he made his first steps as a coach. In an interview for Guardian, he remembered a very special preparation, which reminded us of Brian Clough!
"You can talk about team spirit, or you can live with it."
In Mainz, after he led the team to Bundesliga in 2004, took a strange decision:
"We went with the team in a lake in Sweden, where there was no electricity. We stayed for five days without food. They had to do this." he said and made a move with his hands, like holding a fishing pole.
The other coaches were saying: Don't you think it's better to do training by playing football? No. I wanted my team to feel like they can survive anywhere. But my assistant thinks I'm an idiot. He asked me if we can train there. No. Can we run there? No. But we can swim and fish!
When I meet these players now, they tell me what happened in every day on this adventure. Every night had a small camping, lying at the roots. No-one can forget these days. We had to find the next island. The first player who did, had to start a fire and boil some water. It was raining all the time. There were only five hours that wasn't raining, and we saw a... mosquito.
How they can live in Sweden? You see the sun and feel the mosquito's. We were like Braveheart, and the world did not believe how strong we were after this experience."
A few days before the final of Champions League, he tried to motivate neutral fans to support his team:
"We are a football club, not a company. But it depends on which story the neutral fan wants to hear. If a fan respects the history of Bayern and what they have won since 1970, he can support Bayern. But if he wants a new story, a great story, he have to be with our side."
Regarding the transfer of Gotze to Bayern and the possible fleeing of Robert Lewandowski, Jurgen Klopp makes it clear that his team will continue to operate in its own way, away from the logic of other big teams.
"Money does not guarantee success. We are not a supermarket, but they want our players because they know that we can not give them the same money. Our way can never be like Real or Bayern's way, as we think and take care about taxes. We could not let the next generation to experience our problems. We must work seriously and rationally."