Though Rangnick is only nine years older than Klopp, the 63-year-old has 14 more years of managerial experience than the man in the dugout at Anfield.
Now in place as United manager until the end of the season, however, this is in fact his first such role outside of his native Germany, having previously led the likes of Stuttgart, Hannover, Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig.
More recently, Rangnick’s work has come off the pitch, having vacated his position as manager of sports and development with Lokomotiv Moscow to take over at Old Trafford.
His work as a manager has been on and off since he left Hoffenheim in 2011, with one such short stint coming as replacement for Felix Magath at Schalke that same year.
Having been fired by the club he took to second in the Bundesliga six years previous, Rangnick stepped back into the breach at the Veltins-Arena and produced a successful run of form.
That included triumph in the DFB-Pokal, the German version of the FA Cup, which booked a place in the DFL-Supercup against Klopp’s title-winning Dortmund.
Schalke had finished 14th the previous campaign, but strengthened with the signings of goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann, left-back Christian Fuchs and right-back Marco Hoger, who all started in the equivalent of the Community Shield.
A 19-year-old Joel Matip took his place in midfield alongside Lewis Holtby, with a 17-year-old Julian Draxler supporting Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in attack.
Klopp fielded the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gundogan, Shinji Kagawa and Mats Hummels.
The game was a tight one, with Lewandowski hitting the post early on while Benedikt Howedes headed over for Schalke, while Fahrmann, who arrived to replace Manuel Neuer, made strong saves to deny Lewandowski, Gundogan and Chris Lowe.
Lewandowski remained a threat throughout the second half, but ultimately the game went to a penalty shootout, where Fahrmann stepped up again.
Dortmund’s Kevin Grosskreutz and Ivan Perisic both saw their spot-kicks saved, with Holtby, Edu, Howedes and Jose Manuel Jurado all converting to seal a 4-3 victory for Schalke.
Klopp and Rangnick shook hands after the game, as Matip joined a pile-on on Fahrmann to celebrate the second trophy of his young career.
That was the last time Klopp and Rangnick met as managers, with Klopp only successful in two of their 13 clashes so far, losing six and drawing five.
Much has changed since then, of course, and Liverpool should head into their next meeting at Anfield in March with Klopp hoping to steer his side to another Premier League title.