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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was named FIFA Men’s Coach of the Year for the second year in a row during The Best FIFA Football awards ceremony in Zurich on Thursday night.
The Reds coach outpointed Marcelo Bielsa and Hansi Flick to retain the award, and it was something he didn’t expect to win.
Klopp felt Flick deserved to win the award after he guided Bayern Munich to a historic treble last season: German Cup, Bundesliga and the Champions League.
The Reds manager has also praised Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa, adding that it is an honor to be mentioned alongside these coaches, and winning it makes him even special.
Klopp has described Bielsa as a ‘workhorse’ and hailed Argentina as an ‘influential coach’. He has revealed that Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara told him that Bielsa ‘wore the Leeds tracksuit’ during the ceremony.
The Liverpool boss said the club’s official website:
And Marcelo Bielsa, probably the workhorse of all coaches. You probably can’t work as much as him. We were all sitting there in a suit and Thiago mentioned that Marcelo was wearing the Leeds tracksuit, so he was probably sitting in his office preparing the next game.
“Such an influential coach over the years, you can’t praise him enough for the things he did for football. So of course it’s an honor to be mentioned only with these guys, to win it, and obviously even more. “
Bielsa is loved and admired around the world for his passion, coaching style and overall contribution to the game, and it was very kind of Klopp to reveal his deepest admiration for the Argentine.
The Leeds manager also congratulated Klopp and Liverpool earlier this season, and the two share a mutual respect.
Bielsa’s inclusion in this prestigious awards category drew attention as many felt that guiding Leeds into promotion is not a huge achievement compared to what others have done elsewhere last season.
Leeds are off to an uneven start to their first Premier League season after 16 years. They started out great but then saw a drop in form, suffering back-to-back defeats.
However, Leeds returned to winning ways last weekend after beating Newcastle United 5-2 at Elland Road.