Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has heaped praise on his former manager Jurgen Klopp.
The Polish international revealed that Jurgen Klopp was like a father figure to him when they worked together at Stockman and the German manager had plenty of empathy for him for everything that went on in his personal life.
Lewandowski also compared Klopp to the bad teacher in school who is always strict with students and puts pressure on them to get the best out of them.
The Liverpool manager played a key role in helping Robert Lewandowski develop into the best number nine in world football. Recently, he picked up the FIFA best player of the year award after a memorable season with Bayern Munich where he helped his side win the Champions League and the Bundesliga.
Robert Lewandowski also explained how Jurgen Klopp is extremely approachable and players can talk to him about anything.
The Bayern Munich striker said: “When the second season began, I was still struggling. I also felt that Jurgen wanted something from me, but I didn’t understand exactly what. So after a really bad defeat to Marseille in the Champions League – I think we lost 3–0 – I went to see him. I said, ‘Jurgen, come on. We have to speak. Just tell me what you expect from me’. I can’t remember everything he told me – my German still wasn’t the best – but through the few words I knew and from his body language, we understood each other. We had a great chat.
“Three days later, I scored a hat trick and assisted another goal against Augsburg. We won 4–0, and that was the turning point for me. It was a mental thing, a hang-up of some sort. And I think it had something to do with my father. At the time I didn’t think about it. But now I realise that my conversation with Jurgen was like one of those I wish I could’ve had with my dad [who died when Lewandowski was a teenager]. One of those I had not been able to have in many, many years. I could talk to Jurgen about anything. I could trust him. He is a family man, and he has so much empathy for what goes on in your private life.”
He added: “Jurgen was not only a father figure to me. As a coach, he was like the ‘bad’ teacher. And I mean that in the best sense of the word. Let me explain. Think back to you when you were in school. Which teacher do you remember the most? Not the one who made life easy for you and never expected anything from you. No, no, no. You remember the bad teacher, the one who was strict with you. The one who put pressure on you and did everything to get the best out of you. That’s the teacher who made you better, right? And Jurgen was like that.”
The German manager helped rebuild Dortmund into a title winning side during his time at the club and Lewandowski was a key player for him. The Polish international helped Dortmund beat Bayern Munich to the title twice before crossing the divide himself.