'Six blank seasons' — Ex-player makes bizarre Klopp claim amid Barcelona speculation

Jurgen Klopp has been linked with a sensationally quick return to management as Barcelona seek to replace Xavi but not everyone in Catalonia is convinced by a move for the German. 

It was a bombshell weekend at the top of European football, with Klopp announcing on Friday that he would be stepping down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season and Xavi confirming on Saturday that he would be leaving Barcelona in summer too. 

Although the Catalans are reigning LaLiga champions, they have slipped 10 points behind Real Madrid - and 11 behind Catalan minnows Girona - in the race for this year’s title and have suffered a sequence of heavy, damaging defeats in recent weeks. 

Girona won 4-2 at Barca in December, Real Madrid humbled them in the Spanish Super Cup final, winning 4-1, and they were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao earlier this month by a 4-2 scoreline. At the weekend, it got worse with a humiliating 5-3 defeat at home to Villarreal. 

Immediately following the game, Xavi announced his intentions to step down with attention immediately turning to who could replace him. 

Spanish outlet Sport claimed that Barca would seek to lure Klopp out of whatever sabbatical he has got planned when he leaves Liverpool and adds that the club’s hierarchy believe they have got a strong chance of doing so. 

That comes despite Klopp confirming that he 'is running out of energy' and will take a year-long sabbatical before deciding whether to continue in management. 

While the improbable links to Klopp have been greeted favourably by sections of the Spanish press and among Barca fans, one former Barcelona player does not believe he would be the right choice. 

Marc Crosas, a former team-mate of Xavi’s who also played alongside stars like Thierry Henry and Ronaldinho, has cast doubt on any Barca approach for the 56-year-old. 

While Klopp has helped reestablish Liverpool as one of the major forces in world football, winning the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League title a year later, Crosas instead pointed to “six blank seasons” when Liverpool have not landed the top prizes under Klopp’s stewardship. 

“Today they are praising Klopp and ask for him to join Barça,” Crosas wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “In 9 years, Klopp has won a Premier League and a Champions League (plus domestic cups) plus 6 blank seasons. 

“In his first 3 seasons he didn't win anything. Xavi has been there for just over 2 years and is the current La Liga champion. Narrative.”

Crosas tweet shows a total lack of understanding of the context of Klopp's achievements and his at legacy at Liverpool, with Reds legend Graeme Souness among those to publicly declare the German among the club's best-ever managers.

It appeared a transparent attempt to talk up his former colleague, but is an opinion which is sure to place Crosas in the minority of voices at Barca who would object to an unlikely Klopp appointment.

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