Jürgen Klopp’s 1,000 Games: By the Numbers
Jürgen Klopp will enter the dugout as a manager for the 1,000th time when Liverpool face Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday. We give you the key numbers you need to know from his managerial career so far.
1: Where It All Began
Already a legend from his playing career Mainz 05, Klopp took charge for the first time on 28 February 2001, one day after being appointed manager. Victory would follow against MSV Duisburg before going on to win six of his first seven games in charge as the club avoided relegation.
Klopp turned Mainz 05 into a 2. Bundesliga powerhouse over the following two seasons before eventually securing their first ever promotion to the top flight in 2003-2004. Qualification for the UEFA Cup followed in the 2005-2006 campaign, but the following season saw them relegated. Klopp would stay with the club one more season, but failure to re-secure their top flight status saw his resignation tendered, although he wouldn’t be out of the game for long.
16: Defeats to Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich are the side who have defeated him most as a manager, but this number could have been very different for Klopp, with the Bavarian giants reportedly interested in acquiring his services at one time. Instead, it was Borussia Dortmund he made his home for the next seven seasons in a memorable time for BVB.
Their 13th-place finish the year before he arrived was soon forgotten, as the side found themselves challenging at the top of the table once more, culminating in an incredible two-year period where Borussia Dortmund claimed back-to-back Bundesliga crowns. The pinnacle coming in the 2011-12 campaign, setting a then-league record of 81 points during which they went on a 26-game unbeaten run, scoring an incredible 73 goals. And as if that wasn’t enough, they also clinched a first ever domestic double with victory over Bayern in the DFB-Pokal.
But the Bavarians would prove to be a thorn in their side on the European front, denying Klopp a UEFA Champions League winners medal the following season after a campaign that had included a dramatic late comeback against Malaga in the quarter-finals (featuring the now familiar touchline celebrations) and Robert Lewandowski’s quadruple strike in the semi-finals against Real Madrid. Arjen Robben 89th minute winner would prove the difference in the final at Wembley Stadium though, ending his fairytale dream.
27: Matches Against Pep Guardiola
2013 saw the start of this iconic pair’s rivalry in the dugout, but by then, Borussia Dortmund were finding themselves a fading force in the Bundesliga. Having lost Mario Gotze to the now Guardiola-led Bayern Munich the previous season, Klopp then found star striker Lewandowski would be making a similar switch the following summer. It would prove too much of a mountain to overcome, winning just three of their 17 games before the Christmas break in 2014-2015 and, despite a second half of the season comeback, the eventual seventh place finish was enough for Klopp to call time on his spell in charge.
Although his battle for supremacy with Guardiola would continue in the Premier League, it would be farewell to one of his other great adversaries. Dieter Hecking is the manager whom Klopp has faced the second most times in his career (21), and is jointly the manager he has defeated the most across his career (11, alongside Guardiola and Eddie Howe). However, the then Wolfsburg manager would have the last laugh – defeating Klopp 3-1 in the German Cup final, his last game in charge of BVB.
341: Appearances by Roberto Firmino
It’s hard to believe that it wasn’t Jürgen Klopp that brought the Brazilian to Liverpool FC (Brendan Rodgers had that honour), but it wasn’t long into the 2015-2016 season, and after just a four month break to re-charge his batteries, that Klopp took over at Anfield and the pair started their relationship that continues to this day.
A bright spark in an otherwise disappointing first Premier League season for Klopp at the Reds (although the side did go on to reach the UEFA Europa League final), Firmino has gone on to make the most appearances for Klopp (341), while only two players have made more starts in competitive games under his management. Firmino’s total of 277 starts is just shy of Neven Subotic (278) and goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller (280), with the record undoubtedly his for the taking in 2022-23.
173: Goals Scored by Mohamed Salah
Back-to-back fourth place finishes followed during which Klopp built a solid defensive core around Liverpool players Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. But what really propelled the side forward was the signing of Mohamed Salah to join up alongside Firmino and Sadio Mane.
The Egyptian would score on his debut against Watford, the first of 173 he’s scored for Klopp, as part of his memorable 2017-2018 season which saw him set the 38 Premier League games record of 32 goals in a season. Salah has also scored the most hat-tricks (five) for Klopp across his managerial career (28), but only one of them came during his record setting campaign, also against Watford.
And whilst silverware would elude Liverpool once more (a fourth-place finish and defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in which Salah was injured and nearly ruled him out of playing in the 2018 World Cup), it felt like only a matter of time until Klopp would taste success once more.
97: Points to Finish Runners-up
A rather unwanted record on the domestic front followed for Klopp in the 2018-2019 season as their tally of 97 points still wasn’t enough to clinch a first Premier League title for Liverpool, being pipped at the post by a Manchester City side led by familiar foe Guardiola. It’s the most points an English top-flight club have claimed without winning the title (a position they now hold first and second on the list for, following their 92 points in the 2021-2022 season).
But the season is most memorable for their UEFA Champions League triumph, during which they invoked one of those famous ‘European Nights at Anfield’ as they overturned a 3-0 deficit from the first leg of their semi-final against Barcelona, before going on to defeat Tottenham Hotspur in the final to finally clinch his first trophy as LFC manager. He has since added success in the FA Cup and League Cup to his own personal trophy cabinet.
18: Equalled the English Top-Flight Winning Run
Europe was conquered, now the focus was on the domestic front. Having come so close the season before, Liverpool went off like a rocket the following campaign which would eventually be derailed by a global pandemic that forced the campaign to a halt. By that enforced break, Klopp’s side had won 27 of the 29 games they played in the Premier League, recording a point per game tally of 2.83. This included them equaling the all-time English top-flight winning run of 18 games, which eventually helped them seal the title after playing just 31 matches – the earliest English title win in top-flight history – although the Reds would eventually fail to break the 100-point barrier for the season.
The campaign also produced some of the highest scoring marks of Klopp’s managerial career. The 5-5 draw against Arsenal in the League Cup remains the game in which he has seen the most goals as a coach (10). A 7-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa at Anfield is also the heaviest defeat that has been inflicted upon him. And it would take a little while longer for the German to record the biggest win of his managerial career, that coming in the 9-0 defeat of Bournemouth earlier this season.
1,000: This Match Against Chelsea
There’s a much more in-depth preview of Saturday’s game at Anfield elsewhere on the site, but it will be the 20th time that Klopp has faced off against Chelsea in all competitions, winning six, drawing nine and losing four of his previous encounters. In terms of previous wins against an opponent, he might have preferred to face Crystal Palace or Arsenal (12), although his all-time preferred opposition would be Sport-Club Freiburg whom he defeated on 13 occasions.
Klopp will hope that it goes better than a recent 1,000-game milestone did for Arsène Wenger, which also came against Chelsea in a Premier League encounter. In his 1,000th game as Arsenal manager, Wenger saw his side get hammered 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in March 2014. Klopp is also some way off the overall competitive games as manager record, which is held by Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson.
Klopp still has some way to go to reach 1000 games at Liverpool, however. This will be his 411th match in charge of the club, during which time he has recorded a 60.7% win percentage, compared to a career long percentage of 53.9%.
Research by Michael Reid in the Opta UK Data Insights team
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