Jurgen Klopp ‘made life impossible’ at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and ‘didn’t have time’ for Florentino Perez’s attempts to sign him


While the 2018 final against Real Madrid in Kyiv evokes horrible memories for Liverpool, it’s easy to forget that Jurgen Klopp’s story with the Spanish giants began with glory.

Long before a heartbreaking Champions League loss to Madrid, Klopp first met Real in the 2012/13 season and announced himself to the world.

Thoughts of Klopp and Madrid conjure up images from 2018
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Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
But his history with Los Blancos goes back much further
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Already the next big thing in management with back-to-back Bundesliga titles as Borussia Dortmund manager, the German tried to go further the following year and nearly succeeded.

An Arjen Robben winner in the 2013 European Cup final ended one of sport’s great fairy tales as Bayern Munich edged out an all-German affair at Wembley, but Klopp’s status has already been confirmed.

Four Robert Lewandowski goals at Signal Iduna Park made history in the semi-finals for Dortmund, and for Madrid too, with their second heaviest defeat in Champions League history.

It was a chaotic night as the Polish striker let loose but marked Klopp’s arrival on the European stage having already beaten Los Blancos in the group stage to top their pot unbeaten.

The semi-final, however, was an even bigger shock for a team coached by Jose Mourinho, containing legends of the game such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Luka Modric, and they failed to come back.

Late goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos at the Santiago Bernabeu were not enough to stop another defeat for Mourinho’s Madrid, ending a time when they dominated the game alongside Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.

Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
Madrid couldn’t come back from the destruction of Lewandowski
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1. Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp have drawn once - to see how many times Mourinho has beaten Klopp click on the arrow above
Klopp left Mourinho in shock


Mourinho was quickly sacked in what he called ‘the worst season of my career’ and reports claimed Klopp’s performances had already put his name on the substitute list.

“Maybe Madrid fans want a German coach again,” Klopp said of the news. “Unfortunately, I don’t have time for them.

“The truth is that I have a contract at Dortmund until 2016 – the rest is just rumour.

“It shows that a lot of people saw our games against Real Madrid and they liked what they saw.

Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
It was one of those rare occasions where Perez didn’t go his own way

“There are worse things that could happen.”

Carlo Ancelotti finally took the job with stunning results, shattering Madrid’s hoodoo in Europe with a tenth Champions League title and his first in 12 years.

But despite signing Klopp to Liverpool in 2015, that hasn’t taken him off Florentino Perez’s radar, with Real coming back for him on several occasions.

Klopp was lined up again when Ancelotti left in 2015, with former president Ramon Calderon explaining their eventual pick Rafael Benitez was fourth on the list.

Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
As Zidane made history in Madrid
AFP
Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
Perez always kept an eye on Klopp

The Benitez experience was a disaster but eventually led to Zinedine Zidane and three Champions League titles, however, Klopp’s reputation only grew.

When Zidane finally left and caretaker manager Santiago Solari failed, Klopp was again sought after, with Spanish outlet Don Balon claiming his impact in 2013 was still being felt.

“One of the managers that Florentino Pérez has sought many times is Jurgen Klopp, the job the German has done is comparable to the best,” they reported.

“You just have to remember how the Borussia Dortmund he was coaching at the time made life impossible in Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
Perez was still thinking about that night in Westphalia
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“Nobody understood how a team that went unnoticed by the rest of Europe could achieve such an exceptional performance, the answer was found on the bench.

“Their strategist gave them a tension and tactical rigor that brought down any great team they had to face.”

Luckily for Madrid, they were the ones who gave Klopp the shivers in the 2018 final, unable to recover from an early injury from Mohamed Salah and a disaster class from Loris Karius.

The 54-year-old lost again to Los Blancos in the quarter-finals last year but his opinion from 2013 still stands as not much has changed with Madrid’s elite mentality.

“It’s not that easy to do these things against Real Madrid – they’re cool as ice,” he said.

Jurgen Klopp 'made life impossible' at Real Madrid when they destroyed Borussia Dortmund and 'didn't have time' for Florentino Perez's attempts to sign him
Could Klopp give Perez another hellish night?

“You have a chance against them and they don’t mind. It doesn’t affect them. Have you ever seen them freak out because someone had a chance against them? Ice.

“They think, ‘opponents have chances, it happens. We have a chance, we score’.

“Pep once said, great teams really have a cup of coffee and then bang, they go. So you got a chance against them, you better take it.

It’s easy to see how Klopp has learned that lesson in recent years, with his current Liverpool side showing the same kind of steely psychology to compete on all four fronts this season, despite rarely playing at his best.

And when he faces his suitors for the tenth time in Paris, Klopp will be hoping to turn the tide by ending Madrid’s heroic 2021/22 comeback campaign by making life impossible for them.

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