David Wagner, the great Huddersfield who is Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s best friend, will look to stun Manchester United in the Champions League tonight.
Wagner now leads Swiss champions Young Boys, who face United tonight in their Champions League Group F opener – live on talkSPORT 2.
He joined Young Boys in June 2021 and got off to a good start, placing fourth in the Swiss top flight.
More importantly, Wagner helped guide Young Boys to the Champions League group stages.
They secured a place in the competition after their victory in the final qualifying stages at the end of August against Hungarians Ferencvaros.
Now Wagner will have to do everything to smother United in the Champions League and play in Group F alongside Villarreal and Atalanta.
Wagner and Klopp
You may remember Wagner from his playing career in Germany where he played for Mainz, Schalke, Darmstadt and TSG Weinheim until 2004.
But he’s probably best known for his managerial career with Huddersfield and his close relationship with Klopp from Liverpool.
The two managers met and played together for the first time in Germany for Mainz, then second division, from 1991.
The two have remained friends ever since and were often seen chatting and joking when they faced each other in the Premier League.
Wagner does not remember his witness speech …
Wanger was Klopp’s best man at his wedding, but he doesn’t remember the occasion very well …
He told FourFourTwo: “We became friends more or less from that first meeting. We were able to communicate and we were on the same level. More or less from the start we became roommates and spent every second around football.
“I’m not the best drinker – I need two beers and that’s enough. Klopp is better than me at drinking alcohol!
“Yes, I was the best man [at Klopp’s 2005 wedding], but I don’t know what the speech sounded like because I drank too much alcohol!
Wagner’s managerial career began with Borussia Dortmund II while Klopp was manager of the first team.
They both left Germany for England in 2015, with Wagner heading to Huddersfield and Klopp to Liverpool.
He managed to guide them to the most lucrative prize in world football, the Championship play-off final in 2017.
His side secured a promotion to Wembley by beating Jaap Stam’s Reading 4-3 on penalties.
Klopp admitted that he cried constantly after the final: “I was nervous as hell. And then Ulla (Klopp’s wife) sent it [Wagner] a video of me crying like a baby when it happened, the final penalty because I couldn’t stop.
Wagner kept the Yorkshire club in the top flight for the first season, but in the 2018/19 campaign they finished bottom with just 16 points and just three wins.
Wagner left by mutual agreement in the middle of this season and was quickly appointed boss of Schalke.
After 18 consecutive defeats, his stay at the Bundesliga club came to an end after just over a year.
Wagner was not seen on the sideline again until June of this year for the Young Boys, despite being linked with the Championship’s West Brom.
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