Jurgen Klopp passed over his current crop of talent at Liverpool as he named a former Borussia Dortmund star the best player he has ever managed.
The German was Dortmund boss for seven seasons between 2008 and 2015, leading the club to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Pokal.
Pivotal to Klopp’s success in the Westfalenstadion hot seat was the emergence of Robert Lewandowski as one of the finest strikers in Europe.
The Pole joined from Lech Poznan in 2010 and he went on to score 103 goals in 187 appearances for Dortmund before joining arch-rivals Bayern Munich in 2014.
Lewandowski has hit new heights since moving to the Allianz Arena and was named Best FIFA Men’s Player last year after firing Bayern to the treble.
And Klopp was in no doubt over the best player he has ever coached when quizzed by German outlet Bild , responding: “Robert Lewandowski.
“It actually won’t be fair to say that about any other player except Lewy. What he has made out of his potential, how he pushed himself to become the player he is today, that’s extraordinary.
“If every player has a development similar to Lewandowski, when I first saw him at Lech Poznan, then the football world would be completely crazy.
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“All players would win all their duels, the full-backs would complete all their crosses, the midfielders would be strong in one against ones, the wingers would tackle and play precise long balls.
“Lewandowski made every step he had to make to become the goal machine he is today.
“He knows exactly what to do in every situation. He’s an absolute machine.
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“I would like to thank him and all the other players who made it look like as if I’m a very good coach.”
Klopp and Lewandowski have a very strong bond from their time together at Dortmund, with the latter claiming his former manager is like a father to him.
The pair could be set for a reunion in the late stages of the Champions League, as Liverpool have already progressed to the quarter-finals and Bayern are almost certain to join them in the last eight on Wednesday night.
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