How Good Was Jurgen Klopp as a Player?

Posted on November 2021
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How Good Was Jurgen Klopp as a Player? image

Jurgen Klopp has made a name for himself as one of the best managers in world football. Showing great potential at Mainz, he then went onto great success at Borrusia Dortmund, before reaching even greater heights at Liverpool.
His name has now been etched in history for the side after winning both a Champions League and a first title in 30 years for the club.
For all his skills as a manager, he was never renowned as a superstar footballer. But just how good was he.

Late Starter

Unlike many footballers nowadays, Klopp worked what many would consider ‘normal jobs’ prior to his footballing career. One such job was in a video store, while another was loading trucks. His football career didn’t take off in any great way until he was 23, when he was signed for Mainz 05. That move in the summer of 1990 changed his life forever.

From Forward to Back

Versatility became an asset for Klopp, starting his career at Mainz as a striker, but moving back into the defence in 1995. That is not to say that he didn’t have a finisher’s instinct. He ended his career with 56 goals for the club. See Jurgen Klopp lead the team at Anfield and order LFC (Liverpool FC) tickets here on Seat Compare.


Klopp has discussed his playing career on many occasions. He regularly talks about how he didn’t quite have the skill to play at the highest level. Below are just a few of the quotes from the German when discussing his playing career.
“I had fourth-division feet and a first-division head”.
Discussing Andreas Möller, “if that’s football, I’m playing a completely different game. He was world-class. I was not even class”.

A leader on the pitch and off it

Despite clearly recognising his limitations, Klopp still became a leader for his side on the pitch. He regularly showed a never say die attitude and that infectious energy spread to the rest of his team. He talked about it when he said, “I was the engine of the team. If something went wrong I told everybody and if possible, I told them how we can do better or what we have to do more of. I had that role even as a player.”

How Good Was He?

Jurgen Klopp was far from a world beater, but he was useful at the level he played at. His attitude was his best asset.
It was clear that he was never going to play at the highest level, but he did maximise his own ability and continually adapted to remain in the side. We know him as a Liverpool and Dortmund legend, but he is also highly thought of Mainz, not only as their former manager, but also as a cult hero as a player.

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