|Estimated value:||€40 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany|
|Source of Wealth:||footballer|
Jürgen Klopp is considered one of the most successful current German football coaches. The Swabian was associated with FSV Mainz 05 as a player and later coach for almost two decades until he moved to Dortmund, where he won the German championship twice. After moving to England, home of football, he also secured victory in the Champions League with Liverpool FC in 2019.
Klopp was born in Stuttgart on June 16, 1967 in the wild 1960s and grew up with his parents and two sisters in the Black Forest. Jürgen Klopp’s father was an amateur footballer himself and sparked his only son’s passion for football. As a child, Klopp dreamed of a great career as a footballer, coach or manager. His childhood idol was the Stuttgart international Karl-Heinz Förster. Klopp’s path as an active player was arduous: via small village teams and amateur teams he finally ended up at Rot-Weiss Frankfurt and missed promotion to the second division with this club, which was coached by legendary coach Dragoslav Stepanovic, in 1990 after a defeat against FSV Mainz 05. Nevertheless, this defeat was fateful for Klopp, because it led him to Mainz, where he found his footballing home for the next 18 years.
Between 1990 and 2001, “Kloppo” wore the Mainz shirt without interruption and played over 300 games for the team in the second Bundesliga. Klopp was used partly in attacking midfield and partly as a center forward. However, his goal hunger was only moderate, in eleven years for Mainz he only scored 52 goals, but he managed the feat of scoring four goals in a single game against Rot-Weiss Erfurt in 1992. During his playing days, Klopp played more often against relegation than for the top places, but Mainz always managed to stay up. In the 1996/97 season, under coach Reinhard Saftig, they just missed promotion to the Bundesliga by finishing fourth in the table. In the 2000/2001 season, Klopp then switched from being a player to being a coach and in the first year he finished 14th in the table and thus stayed up. In his fourth season as coach, he then led Mainz to third place in the table, which entitled them to direct promotion to the Bundesliga.
As a Bundesliga coach, Klopp remained loyal to FSV Mainz for a number of years, only when Mainz were relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga and missed out on being promoted directly did the coach and club part ways. Now Klopp’s successful time as coach of Borussia Dortmund began. He took over the club in 2008 and turned the team into a top team that secured the German championship title twice in a row in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, winning the DFB Cup was followed by the double and thus the greatest success for a coach in German football. At international level, Kloppo also led Dortmund into the all-German final of the Champions League in 2013, in which Dortmund lost to Bayern Munich.
After less successful years, Klopp left Dortmund for England in the 2015 season and became coach of Liverpool FC in the Premier League. In 2019, as runner-up, he narrowly missed winning the English championship. However, he did win his first Champions League final with Liverpool that same year after beating Tottenham 2-0, becoming the third German coach after Jupp Heynckes and Otmar Hitzfeld to do so with an English club.
Jürgen Klopp is not only a brilliant coach with great charisma, but also an extremely funny and quick-witted person to talk to, who often throws out cool jokes in interviews and press conferences. This is how he summed up his young squad after a BVB game: “When Dortmund last won here 19 years ago, most of my players were still being breastfed.”. Klopp is heavily involved on the touchline in every game and has allowed himself to freak out against the referees quite a few times. To which he added: “I’m an idiot. I have to apologize for that.”
Although Jürgen Klopp is one of the highest-paid coaches in the world today and earns annual salaries in the high single-digit millions, not a single euro transfer fee was paid for him as a player. Since he initially only played for small amateur clubs, no transfer fee was due when he moved to Mainz and he remained loyal to this club for so long, it was never necessary to pay a euro to finance Klopp’s change of club. Klopp’s entry into the coaching profession was also curious: when his club FSV Mainz 05 had their backs to the wall in the 2000/2001 season and was on the verge of relegation, coach Eckhard Krautzun was fired. Klopp, who was injured as a player, took over the role of coach more or less spontaneously. Although he didn’t have a coaching license in his pocket, he did have a degree in sports in his pocket, which qualified him to be a coach from the club bosses’ point of view. It was the right decision by Mainz in every respect.
|Estimated value:||€40 million|