If you recall back in April, Jurgen Klopp was spotted in the Liverpool pub named after him, and Pep Lijnders has now brilliantly revealed why the boss and the team bus were there that day.
In mid-April, during the busiest time of the year for Liverpool, Klopp and Vitor Matos, Liverpool’s elite development coach, were spotted in Jurgen’s Bierhaus on Brunswick Street.
They arrived in the team bus, raising plenty of eyebrows, and had those inside the bar duly excited for the impromptu visit.
Klopp posed for photos alongside Portuguese assistant Matos – who was wearing a Benfica shirt, despite his affinity to Porto – both looking merry and in good spirits.
And Lijnders has now put all the pieces together for us regarding that day, with an extract from his new book Intensity brilliantly explaining that it was all part of Matos’ stag do.
One that was full of Liverpool spirit in all the best ways.
“Our plan was to surprise him in the afternoon by taking our big red team bus to his house to pick him up,” Lijnders said in an excerpt from his book, as quoted by the Echo.
“We were then going to go bowling at PINS in the city centre before another surprise for him at Bacaro where all of his family and friends would be waiting for him with a glass of champagne.
“John Achterberg even prepared a Benfica shirt for him to wear with his name on the back… you can’t provoke a Porto boy more than by doing exactly this. It would hurt and go directly to his heart!
“Ray [Haughan] (first-team operations manager) made sure Vitor got his own cup full of beer with some special rules: every time he left the bus he needed to drink, every time he spoke Portuguese he needed to drink (which led to so many funny discussions between him and Taffarel) and every time one of us threw a strike he needed to drink.
“Everyone would sing Allez Allez Allez. The mood was just insane.
“Ray’s history as a travel leader came back and in these moments he is like the devil and made sure the cup was always full to the brim.
“’We don’t win the Champions League with that attitude, Vitor,’ he said when our Benfica guy struggled to down his tenth beer.
“Vitor said back: ‘The beer tastes like vodka now!’ But that wasn’t the worst part for him… we drove through the city centre and at any moment in time, upon our command, he needed to sing a Liverpool song outside the bus.
“For example, a rendition of Allez, Allez, Allez in the middle of the docks, You’ll Never Walk Alone in front of the Hilton.
“The bus was bouncing, people were staring. What the…? they must have been thinking, a guy in a Benfica shirt outside of Liverpool’s team bus singing Liverpool songs?!”
Now that is something we’d all have loved to see!
“At one point, which people later saw on social media, Jurgen left the bus to enter Jurgen’s Bar when we stopped next to it in front of a red traffic light,” he continued.
“All of the people inside thought he was a doppelganger, which made the moment of realisation that this was actually Jurgen Klopp so funny.
“We danced, sang and celebrated. Mission accomplished. Waking up the next day, we spotted that one of the newspapers had run a story about Jurgen’s appearance in the bar.”