Jurgen Klopp compares Man United legend Sir Alex Ferguson to Beatles icon John Lennon

Jurgen KloppGETTY

Jurgen Klopp has compared Sir Alex Ferguson to John Lennon

Ahead of his first meeting as Liverpool manager with Manchester United, Klopp did little to hide his admiration for the former Old Trafford boss.

Ferguson said he was worried about the impact Klopp would have at Anfield when he succeeded Brendan Rodgers in October and now the German revealed their respect to be mutual with a glowing testimony.

“First of all, I had a few really good moments with Sir Alex,” said Klopp. “In comparison to him I’m a young manager.

“It’s a big honour to talk to Sir Alex. For a manager it’s nearly the best thing you can do, to sit there and listen. OK, I needed ten minutes to understand and then it was OK.

“Maybe he is the greatest ever – the John Lennon of football or something like this. That is really impressive to talk to him.

“From my side there is a big amount of respect. What he did in his life as a manager is not easy for someone else to do it. What he said about me? I don’t know. I think it was positive because we had a good time together.”

The praise came as Klopp also said he felt football had a duty to entertain.

United arrive at Anfield on Sunday with manager Louis van Gaal’s reign under continued scrutiny for a style of play that has been labelled boring.

“First of all I am a football fan and as a fan, if I watch football, I want to be entertained,” said Klopp.

“It is not always possible. Sometimes I have to find other reasons to watch football but it’s one of most important things because you’re only here because you’re interested in it.

“You can celebrate big wins together, go through defeats together and that is what football is. Between these things you want to play football people want to talk about.

“I said after the Arsenal game I don’t like 3-3 too much but when the game is over everyone likes it, a lot of action in it, a lot of goals that’s what it should be.

“It would not be the same game if people went into the stadium and only thought about tactics, like this player needs to move three yards left, or four yards right.

“Football not the most complicated game in the world. Everyone can talk about it. I like football because of those moments you can enjoy.

“That is not only a perfect goal, it is a perfect challenge, header, atmosphere in the stadium, that is what I like in football and it’s our job to do it as often as possible.”

Liverpool will be without Daniel Sturridge once again and Dejan Lovren is also absent after failing to recover from a hamstring problem. But Klopp is eagerly anticipating his first taste of the fixture.

“A game against Manchester United is a bit like Dortmund v Schalke,” he added. “You can play the whole season how you want, but in these games you have to be prepared, at your best for these games.

“It is important for the table, we are close together. Both need the points to stay close to top of table. But it’s Man united.

"It would not be important for the table if we had a 20 point lead at the top, but it would be important still. I love derbies to be honest. It’s the salt in the soup. They are the best matches to perform.”

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