Steven Gerrard has told the story behind a viral photo of him and Jurgen Klopp together at a Formby pub, praising him as a “special person.”
In the buildup to the 2022 Champions League final, a photo of Klopp and Gerrard sat together outside a pub in Formby did the rounds on social media.
The pair both live in the small Merseyside town and it is not uncommon for them to bump into each other, but the timing of this pint was special.
It came days before Liverpool headed to Paris to take on Real Madrid, and speaking in part five of JÜRGEN, a docu-series by The Anfield Wrap supported by ERDINGER, Gerrard told the story.
“I was sitting outside my local pub. It was a real sunny early evening. He was walking the dog, I was sitting outside with one of my friends having a couple of pints,” he explained.
"I shouted over to wish Jürgen good luck because he had a Champions League final days later. I thought he’d be in the zone."
"He said ‘No, no. Go the bar and get me a pint'."
– Steven Gerrard on Jürgen Klopp
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“I shouted over to wish him good luck, because he had a Champions League final days – not weeks, days – later.
“I thought he’d be in the zone, but he said to me ‘no, no, no, go to the bar and get me a pint’.
“He ended up having two or three, he had a couple of smokes, his dog waited patiently and we had a good craic for probably over an hour, 90 minutes.
“[We talked] about football, about life in Liverpool, about his plans for the future.
“He gave me some nuggets in terms of what he was planning to do in the Champions League final.”
As Gerrard continued, he paid tribute to Klopp the person, who he believes is “one of the most gifted managers” in football history.
“He was just real great company to have,” he said.
“He was fantastic with my mate, he made him feel part of the conversation, and I think that just sums the man up.
“He’s a genuine, humble character who’s got a presence and an aura, and at the same time he’s one of the most gifted managers there’s ever been.
“That’s a special person, for me.”
* The Anfield Wrap, supported by ERDINGER, are releasing the final episodes of their five-part docu-series, JÜRGEN.
Episodes one to three will be available to watch for free here.