Liverpool appointed Jurgen Klopp as their boss in 2015 after they had sacked Brendan Rodgers. The German is now viewed as one of the most talented managers in Premier League history and guided the Reds to their first ever title in 2020. Klopp, who has just penned a new deal to keep him in the north west until at least 2026, saw off five rivals to land the Liverpool job. And Express Sport takes a look at what happened to the other contenders who lost out to the 54-year-old.
Carlo Ancelotti was out of work at the time Liverpool sacked Rodgers after he had been axed by Real Madrid less than five months earlier. And the Italian was second favourite behind Klopp to be appointed Liverpool manager.
Ancelotti missed out on the job and eventually returned to management in the summer of 2016 as he took the helm at Bayern Munich. The 62-year-old led Bayern to the Bundesliga title in his first season at the club but was sacked just weeks after the beginning of the next campaign following a poor start. He went on to manage Napoli before joining Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton, where he stayed for 18 months. The experienced campaigner is now in charge of Real Madrid once again.
Walter Mazzarri was third favourite for the Reds job, despite the fact he had only recently been sacked by Inter Milan. The Italian had previously done a fine job during his time in charge of Napoli – and the rumour mill went into overload after it was revealed he had been taking English lessons.
Mazzarri was ultimately overlooked by Merseyside chiefs but eventually got a move to the Premier League when he took on the Watford job the next summer. The 60-year-old was relieved of his duties at Vicarage Road after just one season, however, despite the fact he had kept the Hornets in the Premier League. He went on to manager Torino and is now in charge of Cagliari.
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Frank de Boer
Liverpool dodged a bullet by avoiding Frank de Boer. The former defender was in charge at Ajax when he was linked with the Liverpool role and had won four Eredivisie titles in a row. De Boer eventually left Ajax to take charge of Inter Milan in 2016 but lasted just 85 days in Italy before being given his marching orders.
He was then appointed Crystal Palace boss at the start of the 2017/18 campaign. But he lasted just 77 days at Selhurst Park as he was axed after just five Premier League matches. The 51-year-old then took charge of MLS side Atlanta but was sacked once again. And he lasted just 15 games in his last role as Netherlands boss after the country were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Czech Republic in the round of 16.
Ronald Koeman was another man in the running for the Liverpool job. The ex-defender was doing a stellar job in the Premier League with Southampton at the time. But Reds chiefs didn’t think he was suitable for the role and he stayed at St Mary’s Stadium until the following summer, at which point he jumped ship to manage Everton.
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The 59-year-old was sacked by the Toffees 15 months later, before taking charge of the Netherlands in February 2018. He left his national team role in 2020 to oversee Barcelona but headed for the Nou Camp exit last autumn after overseeing the club’s worst start to a season in almost 25 years. He is set to take charge of the Netherlands for the second time after this year’s World Cup.
Diego Simeone was the fifth favourite to take over at Anfield but was regarded as the rank outsider. And Liverpool fans will be counting their blessings. Despite his relatively impressive performance as Atletico Madrid boss, Simeone is synonymous with the uglier side of football and is a man who likes his teams to defend regimentally and tackle hard.
Simeone came up against Liverpool earlier this season on two occasions in the group stages of the Champions League. But the Merseysiders won both clashes. If Liverpool had the chance to go back and make their managerial decision again, they would pick Klopp every time. And they will be counting their lucky stars they went with the right man.
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