Football News

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk explains why he plans to never follow Jurgen Klopp’s footsteps

By Ollie Thomas

Published: 14:47, 23 August 2019

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk has said the ‘cruel world’ is the reason he won’t become a manager when he retires.

Signed by Reds head coach Jurgen Klopp for £75 million, Van Dijk has been instrumental in the club’s progress from England’s fourth-best team to European champions.

Despite his leadership skills and ideal temperament, the Dutch superstar stated that he believes his retirement will take him down another path.

In an interview with Optus Sport, Van Dijk discussed his plans for post-playing life, something Liverpool fans will be praying is a long way into the future.

He said: “At the beginning of my career I thought I might be a manager but at this point, I don’t think I will become a manager.

“The world can be very cruel…there are a lot of people that have opinions and that can affect you – if you have the choice you’d rather not be in those kinds of situations.

“But I think I will definitely be involved in football. I won’t be a pundit because you have to be saying certain things that you might not even want to, but you have to.

“We’ll see, I think I have a good eye for spotting talent so maybe I’ll do something like that.”

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Van Dijk says no, but another Liverpool fan favourite is preparing for his coaching debut…

While one Liverpool star isn’t keen for the dugout, a former one is about to make his managerial entrance.

Xabi Alonso will take charge of Real Sociedad B for the first time on Saturday as they play Burgos in the third tier of Spanish football. An imperious player on the pitch, the Spaniard will be hoping that his managerial career can go some way to challenging the standard of his playing one.

In an interview with BBC Sport, Alonso spoke of his former managers and how they have influenced his young managerial career.

He said: “I have been lucky to have contact with John Toshack, with Jose Mourinho, with Pep Guardiola, with Vicente Del Bosque.

“Of course I have taken a lot from all of them. I’ve been lucky enough to experience great clubs, with great players, great team-mates and great managers. I’ve always tried to be close to them, to understand how and why they make decisions.

“You learn from that but you need to build your own personality – it’s not a copy and paste thing this manager’s job. You need to build your own ideas and believe in them to be able to transmit that idea and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Asked if he would manage Liverpool one day, Alonso said: “Well at the moment they have an absolutely fantastic manager and we all as Liverpool fans are thrilled with Jurgen [Klopp], with what he’s doing.

“You could feel he was the man because of the way he embraced the Liverpool culture, the way he connected with the fans – you could see that he could make a great job. Even the best expectations he has fulfilled. He’s the man at the moment.”

Five things to know about Alonso’s ex-Liverpool teammates as managers…

  • Steven Gerrard is currently in charge of Rangers, finishing second in his debut season.
  • Sami Hypiia led Bayer Leverkusen to third in the Bundesliga in 2012/13.
  • Mauricio Pellegrino remarkably led Alaves to the 2017 Copa del Rey final…
  • …but was sacked by Southampton a year later after one win in 17 Premier League games.
  • Igor Biscan won the double in Slovenia during his debut season.