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Arsene Wenger couldn’t help but subtly target Tottenham’s former foes when he presented Jurgen Klopp with the Best Male Coach award at the FIFA ceremony on Thursday night.
The former Arsenal chief was one of the few people present at the event, which was held primarily via video link, with the winners delivering their acceptance speeches from their homes.
Klopp received the Best Male Coach award from Wenger, the second year in a row that he received the gong, and the Frenchman couldn’t hide his joy at Liverpool’s win over Gunners rivals Spurs on Wednesday night. .
“He has two really wonderful days,” Wenger said, as reported by the Daily star. “Last night [Wednesday], you win at the last minute [against Tottenham] and today [Thursday] You win the best coach of the year, congratulations! “
The joy on Wenger’s face when he joked with his former rivals was evident, and Klopp evidently noted the motives behind the former Arsenal boss’s comments as he laughed with him.
Despite Klopp’s incredible feat of leading Liverpool to their first Premier League trophy last season, many expected Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick to take the award.
The Die Roten coach led them to both national and European glory last season, and Klopp admitted that he did not expect to be named the winner for the second year in a row.
When asked why he looked so surprised to have received the award, Klopp replied, “I’m [shocked]. I was sitting here because I thought I had won it last year. I am here with my players. Thank you very much, wow.
“I have a lot of people to thank and especially my coaches. If I had known we had won it, my coaches would be here with me. What we did last year has to do with these guys.
“We do not dream 30 years but we have been dreaming for a few years. It was absolutely exceptional and we all had a special year in an unfortunately not so positive way, but for Liverpool fans at least we were able to make some highlights in a difficult period. I had no idea how it would feel and it felt absolutely overwhelming. “