‘I did the job of the manager all those 17 years’: Jurgen Klopp’s former No 2 Zeljko Buvac claims HE is behind the Liverpool boss’s success – and after a bitter Anfield exit he hasn’t even congratulated his old pal on winning the Premier League title
- Zeljko Buvac claims he is the reason for Jurgen Klopp’s managerial success
- The former Liverpool No 2 spent 17 years as ‘The Brain’ to the Reds manager
- Buvac left the club in 2018, and Liverpool have gone on to enjoy big success
- The 56-year-old says he has not congratulated Klopp on Liverpool’s title triumph
Jurgen Klopp‘s former long-term ally Zeljko Buvac has claimed that the Liverpool boss’s success can be attributed to his role, as the former No 2 revealed he has not congratulated his old friend on the Reds’ title success.
Buvac, who was once described as ‘The Brain’ by Klopp, left Liverpool in April 2018 following a breakdown of a 17-year managerial relationship. Neither Klopp nor Buvac had disclosed what caused their longstanding friendship to break down.
Zeljko Buvac has claimed that he is the reason behind Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s success
Buvac, described as ‘The Brain by Klopp, left Liverpool in 2018 for ‘personal reasons’
The 56-year-old, now sporting director at Dynamo Moscow, has spoken out on his time working with Klopp in a rare interview and it seems that tensions are still high between the pair.
Buvac admitted that he did not congratulate Klopp on winning Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years this summer, although he was happy for the rest of the club upon their triumph.
‘I didn’t,’ the 56-year-old told Nobel. ‘I was happy for Liverpool, for the fans, for the player. But I didn’t.’
The pair had enjoyed a 17-year managerial relationship at Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool
The Serb claimed that he was the manager for ‘all those 17 years’ in an astonishing interview
It was thought that Buvac had left Anfield to forge his own career as a manager, but the Serb has ventured in a different direction altogether as a sporting director.
Klopp’s former No 2 explained that he sought to become a sporting director as he had ‘been the manager for all those 17 years,’ in another pointed jibe at Klopp.
‘I did the job of a manager, except speaking in public and giving interviews,’ he added. ‘Apart from that, I had all the functions and tried to influence my team as much as I could to help them succeed. But I didn’t need that kind of attention.
Buvac also revealed that he did not congratulate his old friend on winning the league title
‘I don’t want to be a manager now. If Barcelona calls me then of course I’ll think about it but otherwise no.
‘You say I’m here just to stay occupied and wait for a better chance. But if you knew what kind of offers I had rejected during the pause in my career you wouldn’t have said that. But I won’t tell you which clubs.’
Following Buvac’s departure from the club, Klopp named Pepijn Lijnders his assistant manager. The Dutchman had spent a number of years working with the academy before Klopp appointed him.
The 37-year-old also enjoyed coaching stints at Porto and PSV Eindhoven, for seven years and five years respectively.