English Premiership

The All Blacks documentary that changed Jurgen Klopp's managerial outlook

Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged his players to give nothing less than 100% when representing the club, a mantra he learned after watching a documentary on the New Zealand national rugby side, also known as the All Blacks.

The Reds are the 2019/20 Premier League champions with seven matches left remaining of the campaign, however, the German tactician has warned his players that as soon as they think that they have reached the pinnacle of their career, is when they are already on their way down.

"We feel in the middle of something, not the end of something," the Liverpool manager said as quoted by the Guardian.

"We have to give everything until we finish our careers. As long as you wear this shirt, less than 100% is not allowed. That is not my phrase, it came from the All Blacks. I saw that in a nice documentary about the All Blacks and I kept that always for myself. That is for each LFC player the same and for me the same.

“We prepare for Man City with full focus. We will be prepared for the next season as well. I don’t know another way. I’ve learned when you think you’ve reached the pinnacle you are already on the way down and we don’t feel that. I don’t feel finally satisfied. It’s a big step but not the only thing I want to talk about with the boys in 20 years.”

Liverpool take on Manchester City on Thursday, 2 July at the Etihad Stadium where Pep Guardiola’s charges will hold a guard of honour for the Reds before kick-off.

Meanwhile, Klopp, who started his managerial career at Mainz, recalls the first time he watched the documentary during his first season with German club back in 2001.

"It was in 2001," he said. "It was my first pre-season at Mainz, and I saw this documentary in the summer break. I was completely impressed by these big fellas and how they spoke about each other. At that time, the All Blacks were by far the best in the world. I think they had a winning percentage of something over 70% and it was really impressive.

"They were all amateurs, maybe they got a little bit of money, I don’t know. They worked as butchers, builders, all that stuff. These pretty impressive guys spoke about their past and what it meant to them to play for this team.

"At Mainz, the last two minutes before the team bus arrived at the stadium we always listened to the haka. When the door opened, I don't know if people thought a bunch of boys would come out of the bus because it was pretty loud and impressive, and it gave us a little kick.

"They were the All Blacks, Mainz's main colour is red, so we made ourselves the All Reds. Nobody noticed that because we were a small team but, for us, it was big. That is how it started for that team. The players really liked it. It gave us the chance from a team nobody is interested in to become a team at least we are really interested in. That helped us."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff