Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to Gerard Houllier, revealing the “special” relationship he had with the former Liverpool boss, who has died aged 73.
Houllier was in charge at Anfield from 1998-2004, winning a historic cup double in 2001, collecting six trophies in total.
And Klopp has revealed the support he received from the Frenchman when he took the helm.
“I met him before I came to Liverpool and I knew him a little bit then,” Klopp explained to Liverpoolfc.com. “When I arrived here, one of the first messages I received – and I didn’t even know he had my number – was from Gerard Houllier.
“I know he had other clubs – worked for other clubs, was successful with other clubs – but the way he described it, Liverpool was his club, his real club where he probably felt still connected more than any other clubs.
“He was really supportive from the first day; between now and then, always messages came in after big games, big defeats, big wins and all these kind of things. In between, Gerard really texted and told me, ‘That was right… that was wrong… I know the situation…’ and all this kind of stuff.
“He was a really, really, really nice and gentle person. I miss him now already. Maybe the only good thing you can say in the moment is he will never be forgotten here.”
Houllier passed away on Monday after recent heart surgery, but leaves behind great memories of his time on Merseyside.
Klopp added: “It is really, really, really a sad day. I didn’t know Gerard too well – I met him a couple of times, but in those few moments he created a relationship with me which was really special.
“He is a true Liverpool legend and he is a true coaching legend. He was really influential in the game. A great coach, but a human being who gave you a really warm feeling when you were around him. For all of us it is a big loss and a really sad day.”
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