Zeljko Buvac, Mats Hummels ‘ dad and how Liverpool Mentality Monsters are born


After having spent six years as Jurgen Klopp’s team mate Mainz in the Bundesliga 2, Guido Schäfer knows what the manager of Liverpool really is.Klopp has been a good enough player to play 325 times on 11 years in the second tier in Germany.

It has never been at the height of his Liverpool stars of today, but that was more than compensated for that in his coaching career to date.

When asked what Klopp would advise himself, if he would be able to hypothetically manage itself, Klopp once replied, ‘please search for a new sport, not football!’

But that self-deprecating response was typical of the man, and not strictly true.

Schäfer, who has played with the likes of Liverpool, boss in the defence of Mainz, says exclusive of Red Blood podcast that he would never have expected Klopp moving in the direction, but once he did, he was never going to be a kind of coach.

Schäfer explained: “He had a very big mentality in his game. The talent, the fourth division, and the mentality, of the first division.

“Mentally, it can give his team the mentality and we have seen in the centre of Mainz, also in the centre of Dortmund and now Liverpool.

“He had 325 games in the second division it is not possible you are totally blind as a footballer.

“He didn’t have great technique or dribbling, but he was very fast and it has a very good head and a good tackle – and for 90 minutes he was on fire!

Listen to the podcast with Jurgen Klopp’s former team-mate Guido Schäfer by clicking HERE

“He fights against players of the other team and his teammates!

“He was very angry and he yelled at every minute, it was not so easy to play in the team! ”

But Klopp was a different person off the pitch on it.

Schäfer continued: “After the game, he was a lovely guy. He never went for a drink with us – there are two people: on the field and off the field.

“But one day, he asked the coach – Herman Hummels, the father of Mats Hummels –” have you a cigarette for me? “In the second division! It has been legendary.

Guido Schaefer alongside Jurgen Klopp, his team mate of six years at Mainz 05 in the 2. Bundesliga

“Most footballers are not so much interested in other things – they are not so smart off the field, and they think only of girls, and cars, and watches.

“It was someone else – it is the opposite of the normal for a professional player. He has been married for 20 years and had a son at 20 or 21 – it has taken on a great responsibility.

“But we had a very good laugh every day because it has very nice humor, very English, black humor too!

“He was a great listener, but not a great storyteller. Nowadays, his stories are legendary – he is as an actor.

“All of the ex-Mainz players are very proud of him because he had little to Mainz to go up to the best coach in the world “.

His assistant of several years, Zeljko Buvac, has also played a role in Klopp, the development of a coach.

The pair played alongside one another in Mainz, where Buvac was a far superior player, at least technically, according to Schäfer – and when Klopp was asked to take up the post of coach of the blue, the Serbs of Bosnia that was his deputy, a position he has held to each of their three previous coaching jobs until 2018.

Schäfer explained: “They have played a long time together, and then in his first job, at Mainz, Klopp has been the leader and Zeljko was his assistant.

“Buvac has been the “brain” of the training sessions and the exercises, and he is a genius that way, but I don’t know why they have divorced this beautiful relationship to Liverpool.

“It was a shock. Some people thought that without Buvac, Klopp would be no more than 50%, but a year later, he won the Champions League.

“Klopp, the staff of the legendary, and it is very important that you collect good men in the club.

“You need experts outside the field – the best in all [department]. ”

When Klopp was appointed as Mainz, the coach of the, still a player at the time with the difficulty of the second division of the holding, the journalists at his press conference unveiling burst out laughing at the suggestion and Buvac would be supported.

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But from the time that Klopp has delivered a rousing speech to his team-mates turned to the players, and switching the formation back to a more familiar 4-4-2, they have had success in the past, it was clear that he was to make a top-class coach.

Mainz miraculously survived the fall and have even been promoted to the top flight under Klopp orientation in 2004 – new form of entertainment above their actual level, based on a combination of marginal gains and upper part of the mentality of their rivals.

Klopp also in regard to the promotion with his first club as the biggest success of his career to date.

Without or without Buvac, and with the experience of his playing days and the mental strength, Klopp has evolved significantly as a coach at Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool.

But one thing remains the same: at the very least, the players are supposed to be the Mentality of Monsters all the time.


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