Jurgen Klopp has revealed his greatest ever achievement as a manager and (spoiler alert), it's not related to Liverpool Football Club.
Just four weeks into the Premier League season, the unfortunate football hiatus in the form of the campaign's first international break has taken place and fans are itching for competitive club football once again.
While his players have been all over the world for their respective national teams, Klopp has used the early break as the chance to visit another club close to his heart, Mainz 05.
Not only was the boss a player for the German club for 11 years, scoring 52 goals in 325 appearances, but he also managed them for a further seven years from 2001 until 2008.
On his brief return to the club, the 56-year-old used the opportunity to claim that his most impressive managerial achievement wasn't the Champions League win with Liverpool, or breaking a 30-year curse when he won the league with the Reds in 2020, but it actually came during his stint at Mainz.
Speaking to German publication Bild, Klopp said: "[My most cherished managerial achievement is] still being promoted with Mainz 05. I lost more Champions League finals than most people played. Winning it once is cool, big and important. It felt very, very special. But it is the special story.
"At that time, nobody needed Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga. We were a team with players who got the second chance. Whose career was already halfway over. In the end we made it after failing spectacularly twice. The conditions were so bad that it was the greatest success I've ever had."
"Nobody really believed we could do that. We stayed stubborn and pushed through. Later I won bigger titles, but I also had better teams at my disposal, better conditions, a lot more money."
— Mainz 05 English (@Mainz05en) September 9, 2023
The admission by Klopp actually plays into an old argument many have made about the German manager's status among the very best world football.
He has always been known as the miracle manager – a man who can create greatness where there previously wasn't any through coaching ability, rather than simply riding the success (and finances) of an already successful club.
The fact that Klopp considers his own greatest achievement to be from an era where he was pushed to his limits and had very limited financial backing, demonstrates how much he values hard work as a manager.