• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Meeting Maradona was like meeting the Pope, says Klopp

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE WITH LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, FILE FOOTAGE OF DIEGO MARADONA, FILE FOOTAGE OF ANFIELD, RECENT FOOTAGE OF LIVERPOOL TRAINING

SHOWS:

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 27, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING:

"The best through my lifetime which I watched most often... maybe not right anymore because I saw Cristiano (Ronaldo) and Lionel (Messi) as well a lot of times. But during my own playing career he was the stand-out player. His life shows how nice life can be when you're a world class footballer and how difficult it can be as well. So, he was very, very impressive figure and I've told already I met him once which was for a player, I was not a player any more, but for a player of my level, which I was, it was like meeting the Pope to be honest and that was really, really special. So, football will miss him, I will miss him and you can see with all the reactions all over the world if we could have shown our love for him without wanting to have a selfie, just had we shown him the respect he deserves while he was still alive I think we could have helped him."

VATICAN CITY (FILE - SEPTEMBER 4, 2014) (CTV - ACCESS ALL)

2. MARADONA AND POPE FRANCIS POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

3. MARADONA POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

4. MARADONA AND POPE HUGGING

LA PLATA, ARGENTINA (FILE - SEPTEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

5. NEW COACH FOR GIMNASIA Y ESGRIMA DIEGO MARADONA ARRIVING AT STADIUM ON GOLF BUGGY AND BEING GIVEN A SOCCER BALL

6. MARADONA WAVING

7. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHANTING "DIEGO" AND CHEERING

8. VARIOUS OF MARADONA POSING WITH TEAM FOR PHOTOGRAPHS

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 27, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING:

"I think we're all really waiting for little steps in the right direction. Not only in football, in all parts of life. And these things with tier one, two and three; it's the best idea we have in the moment in this country. So, it means it depends on how many people are getting infected over a specific period of time and... So, yes, I understand that there are obviously some discussions about why it's more of an advantage for some clubs. I said before, I knew which tier Liverpool would be in it's not discussing the advantage or disadvantage of this or that, it's just making small steps in the right direction and I hope this is the sign for it and so I'm happy obviously that we can bring in 2,000 people. Nobody knows how long we can do that but I don't even know for the moment which game it would be the first time and all this kind of things. But I just think we should just discuss this not on the basis of an advantage or a disadvantage for this or that team because the world is in a difficult place and we have to... we all wait for small steps and it's a small step in the right direction. That's how I see it."

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

10. VARIOUS OF KENNY DALGLISH STAND AT ANFIELD STADIUM

11. SHANKLY GATES

12. CREST ON SHANKLY GATES

13. LIVERPOOL FLAG

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 27, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

14. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING:

"It's pretty special, Brighton. So, look we have analysis meetings obviously a lot and we have analysts who are really honest in that. So if they think the opponent is really is a tough one to play they tell me in the first second of the meeting when we see all of the results they had in the last six, seven, eight games and they say 'OK, the results don't look right but they are in a really good moment'. So, they play just good football. You can see that. That was since, since they worked together now and they have always possession, a lot of possession; again a football playing side with a clear idea, adapt sometimes a little bit system wise but most of the time play the same system and stick to that and do that really well. So, yes, they don't score or didn't score so far maybe often enough to get the results but we cannot go there and expect they will not finish their situations off, of course not. We have to make sure that we are ready for a lot of necessary defensive work because they play; they make the pitch big. The Brighton pitch is anyway big and they try to use all of it and it's just hard work and that's what we have to be ready for. We were always so far and we have to be again."

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 24, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2020")

15. LIVERPOOL TRAINING SESSION IN PROGRESS

16. MIDFIELDER, GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (NUMBER 5), DEFENDER, JOEL MATIP (NUMBER 32), STRIKER, DIOGO JOTA, MIDFIELDER, CURTIS JONES (NUMBER 17), AND STRIKER, SADIO MANE WARMING UP

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 27, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

17. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING:

"Yes Diogo (Jota) obviously has settled in nicely and that's true. Very important for us, very, very important for us because we have... we cannot play our usual front three all the time or the full season. It's just... it's difficult to... it was difficult to improve us there but Diogo looks like he can do that and that is massively helpful and so I'm really happy about that."

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 24, 2020) (UEFA - NO RESALES. NO COMMERCIAL USE. MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY "©UEFA 2020")

18. LIVERPOOL FORWARD, MOHAMED SALAH (RIGHT), WALKING ON TRAINING PITCH ALONGSIDE DEFENDER, KOSTAS TSIMIKAS (NUMBER 21)

19. LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, WALKING ON TRAINING PITCH

20. SALAH WARMING UP WITH DEFENDERS, RHYS WILLIAMS, AND NECO WILLIAMS, (NUMBER 96) JUST BEHIND HIM

21. SALAH, RHYS WILLIAMS AND NECO WILLIAMS WARMING UP

22. PLAYERS WARMING UP

23. SALAH, RHYS WILLIAMS, NECO WILLIAMS WARMING UP, SALAH TURNING HIS BACK TO CAMERA

24. KLOPP ON TRAINING PITCH

25. MIDFIELDER, FABINHO (NUMBER 3), AND FORWARD, TAKUMI MINAMINO (NUMBER 18), DEFENDER, BILLY KOUMETIO, AND STRIKER, DIVOCK ORIGI (WOOLLY HAT), WARMING UP

26. GOALKEEPER, ALISSON BECKER, TRAINING

27. WIJNALDUM PASSING BALL

28. DEFENDER, ANDREW ROBERTSON (NUMBER 26) AND JAMES MILNER (NUMBER 7) JOGGING ON PITCH

STORY: Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told reporters on Friday (November 27) that meeting Diego Maradona was like having an audience with the Pope - but wishes people had done more to make sure he was well during his troubled later years.

Argentina's Maradona, one of the world's greatest ever soccer players, was buried on Thursday (November 26) amid a global outpouring of grief, from the streets of Buenos Aires to Naples in Italy.

His death at the age of 60 on Wednesday, following a heart attack, has sparked both mourning and celebrations of a true sporting star, who was a genius on the soccer field but lived a life marred by struggles with addiction.

On Friday Klopp made his papal comparison, adding that had Maradona received all the good will and respect shown in recent days during his lifetime it might have helped him through his struggles.

Klopp was speaking to the media ahead of his side's Premier League match away to Brighton & Hove Albion which will be the last match for a while that Liverpool will play in front of no fans. From December 2, new COVID-19 restrictions will come into place in England with a three-tier system. Any outdoor sports stadiums will be allowed to welcome 4,000 fans if they're in tier one and 2,000 if, like Liverpool, they are in tier two. Any stadiums in tier three will still have to play behind closed doors.

Supporters have not been allowed at soccer matches in England since sport resumed in June and Klopp welcomed the announcement as the first step in the right direction.

Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League behind Tottenham Hotspur only on goal difference and are 11 points ahead of Brighton who are 16th in the table with only two wins so far this season. Despite their lowly position, Klopp was adamant that Brighton would be a tough fixture for his team who lost 2-0 to Atalanta in the Champions League on Wednesday (November 25).

Klopp was full of praise for new signing Diogo Jota who has scored eight goals in 13 matches in all competitions since joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers in August, and said the Portuguese striker had improved his attacking options which already included Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

(Production: Tim Hart)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting