'You should have seen Stevie's eyes when I told him' - Klopp reacts to managing Gerrard
Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his excitement at getting to manage former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard will don the Liverpool shirt one more time when the Reds travel to Australia for a post-season friendly against Sydney FC on May 24.
Speaking to the club's website Klopp said he is really looking forward to fans being able to watch their former skipper in action again.
He added that Gerrard was equally excited for the opportunity and that originally he had thought he would have to persuade the ex-England captain.
“If somebody would have told me a few years ago that I would be the manager of Steven Gerrard, I would have said ‘Yes!’ It’s fantastic," Klopp said.
“The best thing you should have seen the eyes of Stevie when I told him – or asked him, actually, what he would think about it. ‘You want me to play?!’ I thought I would have to convince him… he said ‘Yes, of course, when?’
“It’s really nice. He is a 100 per cent football player and of course a 100 per cent LFC player. He is really looking forward to it, and I think the same.
“It will not be the longest preparation [for Gerrard] for the game I’ve ever done, I would say; maybe I’ll use his experience, not give him too much wrong advice and let him enjoy the game!
“I’m really looking forward for my players to play again with him, and for the people to see him again in an LFC shirt. It’s a really nice thing.”
The move for Gerrard to play again comes from Klopp's idea to combine young players and squad players with some of the club's legends in a friendly game.
Steven Gerrard of Liverpool Legends during the LFC Foundation Charity Match between Liverpool Legends and Real Madrid Legends at Anfield on March 25 in Liverpool, England.Getty Images
“I thought we have to show the whole LFC package – that means the actual squad and a few of our legends,” Klopp added.
“They are still young enough and look good enough in the kit that we can show them. So, use the opportunity that we still have. It’s good for the players and I think the supporters will enjoy it.
Steven Gerrard,Jamie Carragher and Daniel Agger in the pre match team line upGetty Images
“Usually you get a legends game where only legends are playing, or you see a testimonial or whatever, at different parts of the season: in the pre-season when you’re not 100 per cent fit because of hard training, or after the season, you’re already kind of done because it was a long season.
“So this combination, I thought, could be the most enjoyable game to watch for all of us. I’m looking forward to it, actually, because there will be a few fantastic players involved.
“I have a really good team but obviously a few other very good players played in the past for Liverpool, and to show them and their still existing connection to the club, I think that’s really nice.”